Ancient extinct species

Could we see the return of ancient extinct species?

(Read the article on one page)

As gene technology develops, scientists move ever closer to the possibility of bringing extinct species back to life . The Long New Foundation in California is on the front line of research investigating the resurrection of ancient species, such as the woolly mammoth and sabre-toothed tiger, and aims to achieve the genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species.

Aided by new genomic technologies, biologists at The Long New Foundation in California have plans to create a population of woolly mammoths in a Siberian preserve called Pleistocene Park, which was created by Russian scientist Sergey Zimov.

“We’ve framed it in terms of conservation,” Brand said. “We’re bringing back the mammoth to restore the steppe in the Arctic. One or two mammoths is not a success. 100,000 mammoths is a success.”

However, despite huge leaps ahead in the ability to capture and analyse ancient DNA, ‘de-extinction scientists’ are still a long way off from achieving this goal. Currently, the project is working to resurrect the passenger pigeon, which became extinct in 1914, and their hope is to have the pigeon reintroduced into the wild by 2060.

To successfully clone an extinct animal, scientists need to find animal DNA that is almost entirely intact, so some species will make better candidates for resurrection than others. For instance, recently extinct animals that have been preserved in museums make good candidates, as do ancient animals that were preserved in permafrost during the last ice age. Because of the sheer amount of time that has passed, dinosaurs make unlikely candidates. But the woolly mammoth, Tasmanian tiger, saber-toothed cats, giant sloth, and even a Neanderthal could be more viable.  The Neanderthal is, of course, the most controversial extinct species eligible for cloning and resurrection, primarily due to logistics – the surrogate species would be us!

Many conservation biologists are concerned about the implications of the movement, questioning the logic of bringing back species whose environments have been destroyed, as well as the potential for creating a breeding ground for new diseases. It also raises many ethical issues - Is it right for mankind to bring back species of the past into a new foreign world? And if so, where do we draw the line?

Some have argued that instead of focusing time and resources on bringing back ancient species we should instead be concentrating on preventing the loss of thousands of species around the planet that currently face extinction.

The question therefore is not so much “could we do this?” but “should we?”

By John Black


Jurassic Park come to life! All jokes aside it would be fascinating but with a lot of the earth being heavily populated, it may cause a problem with bringing these animals back to life. I am all for everything but human like species being cloned again. There is no reason to bring a primitave version of us back to life. I do think it will help restore the balance of the planet a little.

Yes we will. And science loves to play god so we can be sure they’ll be bringing back exitince species but NOT for our amusement. Only for Military and Government control purposes. Imagine a swarm of giant mosquitos or bees (controlled by microchips) attacking protesting crowds. Think of how the drug companies will benefit from these incidents.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Ancient Technology

The Lycurgus Cup.
A strange chalice made its way into the British Museum’s collection in the 1950s. It is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman artifact called the Lycurgus Cup. The image on the chalice is an iconic scene with King Lycurgus of Thrace...

Ancient Places

The highly-decorated tomb is built in a distinctive ‘L’ shape
A mysterious ancient tomb with “unusual and rare” wall paintings has been discovered in Egypt. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told BBC reporters the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb found during excavation work in Giza’s western cemetery “likely belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth.”

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article