Research, Technology

Can extinct animals be resurrected?

The resurrection of extinct animals is one of thethe most exciting and, at the same time, the most contested ideas in science. However, the difficulties in implementing the restoration of such species are very serious. And at present, the complete resurrection of extinct species remains a fantasy. However, the study of scientists does not stop, and even in this they managed to achieve some success. True, some scientists and public figures believe that the resurrection of extinct species can disrupt the ecosystem and lead to undesirable consequences. Others believe that the restoration of extinct species can help preserve the biodiversity of our planet. Be that as it may, this is a very promising project.

Scientists have already been able to clone the Iberian ibex, which went extinct in 2000, but the clone that was created in 2003 died just a couple of minutes later due to lung defects.


  • 1 How the resurrection of species occurs
  • 2 Ways to resurrect extinct animals
  • 3 Animal Recovery Difficulties
  • 4 Modern science on guard of animal extinction

How does species resurrection work?

One of the most promising methods of resurrectionextinct animal is cloning. Cloning involves creating a genetic copy of an extinct animal. To do this, scientists must obtain the DNA of an extinct animal and insert it into the egg of a related animal. The egg must then be implanted in the female's uterus, where it must develop into an embryo. After the birth of the embryo, a genetic test must be done to make sure that the animal is an exact copy of the extinct species.

Currently, there are several projects to restore extinct species, including the mammoth, dodo, Tasmanian tiger and others. However, most scientists believe that this is not yet possible.

However, in order to successfully clone an extinctanimal requires initial DNA samples. If they are absent, then this method of species restoration cannot be used. Despite this, scientists continue to look for and study DNA samples of extinct animals that could be used for cloning in the future.

Earlier we also wrote about animals that became extinct recently.

In addition, for successful animal cloningit is also necessary to take into account genetic divergence, that is, differences in the genomes of similar animals. Scientists must make sure that a clone of an extinct animal will be able to survive and develop in an environment where there are no close relatives.

Ways to resurrect extinct animals

One way or another, all methods and attempts torecovery associated with the genome. Therefore, ancient DNA is not suitable for these tasks, they have lain for more than one millennium, which affects the destruction of the DNA structure. But scientists are trying and something even comes out.

One method that can helprestoration of extinct animals - genetic engineering. This method involves studying the genome of closely related animals to identify the genes responsible for the unique characteristics of an extinct species. They can then be inserted into the genome of an embryo of a closely related animal. Several studies have shown that this method can be used to create hybrids containing genes from extinct animals.

One of the most famous examples of the restoration of an extinct species is the reappearance of the quagga. The project of scientists made it possible to create an animal that outwardly resembled an extinct species.

Also, there are other approaches torestoration of extinct animals, for example, the use of tissue engineering. This method involves the creation of tissues and organs in the laboratory based on samples taken from the preserved remains of extinct animals. While this can be time consuming and costly, this method can be useful for recovering extinct species that had a small body or that left no surviving DNA samples.

See also: "Extinct" chameleon species found in Madagascar. Why were they hard to find?

Recently, another method has been developed thatcan be used for recovery - this is cryopreservation. This method involves extracting and freezing the sperm or eggs of an extinct animal. These samples can then be used to create genetic offspring through artificial insemination. However, this method also raises ethical questions as it can potentially be used to create new species that can be introduced into ecosystems where they have never existed before, with unpredictable consequences.

Difficulties in animal recovery

Modern scientific methods allow extracting DNA from fossil remains, but this is not enough to recreate a whole organism. On the way to the revival of extinct species there are a number of difficulties.

Some scholars believe that recoveryextinct species can have negative consequences for the ecosystem. For example, if mammoths are recovered and released into the wild, this could lead to changes in vegetation and other consequences that cannot be predicted.

It may be interesting - why the extinct human relatives were "hobbits"?

One of the main problems associated withthe revival of extinct species, is the lack of source material. Often the fossils found are in poor condition and do not contain enough DNA or contain it in a damaged state. In such cases, scientists have to use older remains, which increases the risk of loss of DNA quality and reduces the chances of a successful revival. Even if scientists manage to get a good DNA sample, there are other difficulties, including matching the genome of an extinct animal with that of living relatives. If relatives are not found, then scientists have to work with an unknown genome, which greatly complicates the recovery process.

The second problem is the lack of knowledge aboutlife processes of extinct species. At the moment, we cannot accurately determine how these animals lived and fed, what their ecological role was, and how they interacted with other species. This knowledge is necessary to create suitable conditions for the life of revived organisms.

Another difficulty has to do with ethicalconsiderations. To revive extinct species, it is necessary to use tissues and cells of close relatives, which can lead to injury to populations and cause problems with biodiversity.

But the main problem is the cost of the process.Restoration of extinct animals is a very expensive process that requires large financial investments. Despite the fact that some companies and scientists are promoting the idea of ​​commercializing this process, at the moment its implementation is not economically viable. In addition, there is still not enough technology and research to fully “blind” an extinct species.

Modern science on guard of animal extinction

Since at the moment not a single animal has yet been fully restored, there are only ways to save existing ones.

The first rhinoceros embryos were created in the laboratory. They will help save almost extinct species.

One of the most notable successes inanimal recovery is the case of the Californian condor. The California condor was once widespread throughout North America, but by the mid-20th century, it was on the verge of extinction due to hunting, habitat loss, and lead poisoning. In 1987, only 27 California condors remained in the wild, and a captive breeding program was started to save the species.

One of the attempts to resurrect an extinct species wastaken in 2003 when scientists attempted to clone an extinct Siberian woodpecker from samples of its frozen bodies. However, this experiment was not successful.

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Over the next few decades, scientistsand conservationists have worked tirelessly to breed California condors in captivity and reintroduce them into the wild. The program faced many challenges, including breeding difficulties and the risk of lead poisoning from bullet fragments ingesting food. However, through persistence and innovation, the program has been able to make significant progress. Today, in the wild, the species has been moved from critically endangered to endangered.

Animal extinction has been observed on Earth for a long timemillion years. Recently, however, this process has begun to occur much faster than ever before. One of the most common reasons for the extinction of animals is the destruction of their natural habitat due to human activities. That is why a person must take care of the creatures that inhabit our planet, because it is not a fact that scientists will be able to restore them.