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Zephyr_Drake

De-Extinction

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What is your opinion on de-extinction and the current efforts and methods?

 

The scientific advances in this field are expanding four times the speed of Moore's law.

 

In 2003 the Pyrenean ibex was brought back from extinction for 10 minutes. In the same year two cows gave birth to cloned Banteng, an endangered species of wild cattle. One of the clones survived and went on to live a normal life in San Diego Zoo.

 

It is now possible to genetically alter chicken embryos so that the resulting chickens will have the reproductive cells of an entirely different species, and will lay eggs that will hatch into said species. Scientists hope that they can revive the passenger pigeon using this method, with DNA from preserved specimens that has been repaired using a closely related living species.

 

The selective back breeding of domestic cattle to reconstruct the Aurochs is well under way, and the resulting animals are destined to be reintroduced to the wild in re-wilding projects, as they were a cornerstone species that maintained the delicate balance of ecosystems all across Europe and Asia.

 

The Gastric-brooding frog was an Australian frog discovered 1972, which brooded its eggs in their stomach. They have not been seen in the wild since 1981, and the last one in captivity died in 1983. In 2011 the first successful cloned embryo was produced, but none have been allowed to grow to maturity. The biggest issue is that the reason for their extinction, a pathogenic fungi introduced into the area by humans, is still at large.

 

Another possible application of de-extinction methods is the prevention of the Northern White Rhinos extinction. As of this year only four living Northern White Rhinos still exist, and they can not breed. The only male is elderly and is sterile (due to weak and poor quality sperm). One elderly female lives in the United States, but never bred with a male she was kept with due to also being sterile. The only other two surviving females are a mother and daughter. The mother suffers from weak knees, and has not been able to breed since having her first calf as a result. Her daughter was born sterile. But there is hope. There is enough preserved DNA from this species that they could be cloned, and the embryos carried by female Southern White Rhinos. But it is highly likley that all surviving animals will die before this occurs.

 

So I ask again, what is your opinion? Many nay Sayers keep saying that we can not play god and that they went extinct for a reason. But that reason is us. And while animals like the mammoth and passenger pigeon might be the poster children for de-extinction, their popularity will ensure that funding goes to the research, and that research can save species that are not yet extinct but soon will be.

 

/rant over.

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It's a interesting thing to do but my worry is how far back would they attempt to go? This would save many species from going extinct and bring back some that should be around anyway.

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I really like this idea of bring back species, after all they did not go extinct "for a reason" they went extinct because of humans ignorance. I wouldn't like them to bring back animals that died because of natural causes though.

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If we bring back dinosuars, they wouldn't be the dinosuars we knew even if they look the same and act the same.

Anyways, If they bring back one animal, please be the Tasmanian Tiger.......... I've always wanted to see one but there aren't any left in Australia.

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I'm not really against it, per se, but I don't feel that we should be trying de-extinction when we're having such a hard time just preserving what we have.

Edited by Infinis

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We should probably stabilize our own population first, or we'll just make them all extinct again.

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Yes, I'd like a mammoth in my backyard thank you biggrin.gif

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[...] And while animals like the mammoth and passenger pigeon might be the poster children for de-extinction, their popularity will ensure that funding goes to the research, and that research can save species that are not yet extinct but soon will be.

Quite opposite, really. Pouring millions if not billions into cloning a mammoth or passenger pigeon would be using up precious funding that could go toward preserving the habitats and ecosystems of currently imperiled animals. One of the biggest reasons for current extinctions is habitat destruction, and what good is cloning if there is no suitable habitat for animals to persist?

 

Genetic variability is another hurdle with cloning back species. It would be many, many generations before a genetically stable, non-fragile population of animals could be introduced back into hypothetical habitat, and even then you'll be seeing very low reproducibility and success rate, like the critically endangered Spix macaw. I'd rather see the animals that are still alive and struggling to maintain genetic strength be given further research into breeding stable, viable populations.

 

I sincerely doubt the Aurochs will ever see a comeback too, considering the cattle being bred have very little Auroch in them and just outwardly resemble the animal. I haven't read anything about attempts to reestablish a wild cattle herd in Europe, but I'd imagine it's one of those "would like to" plans.

 

I'm not for cloning back extinct animals, and not for religious beliefs or what have you, but because it's a monetarily, scientifically unstable concept that would probably be used for tourism and publicity and not any actual environmental benefits. I love extinct animals (and plants), from the flightless owls of New Zealand to the snails of Hawaii to the eastern elk of North America and giant lemurs of Madagascar, but I feel they serve as cautionary tales and powerful incentive to protect the species we can still save. There are countless, countless numbers of surviving species with no legal protection, no monetary support, no protected habitat, and barely any factual research done on them, and they need the help we can afford them before they're wiped out. Money needs to go where it will help the most and have the biggest impact, and that's mainly in habitat preservation. Public interest and support needs to focus on critical, lesser-known issues, such as the terrible impact the exotic pet trade has on endangered reptiles, amphibians, birds, etc. or why buying products with palm oil is supporting disasterous ecosystem management.

 

Right now, cloning is a matter of "because we can" not "because it will help.

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10,000% for it.

Reintroduce extinct species who's environments haven't totally bypassed them.

 

Bring back whatever super old stuff you can for zoos and etc, go crazy.

 

Its worth mentioning though, dinosaurs are (with any science or technology we know of) 100% impossible to ever bring back because the DNA itself is gone by now.

 

Although I do agree pretty heavily with Nine too. I'd like to see especially unique animals brought back if possible though. Would be cool to see a moa or something.

Edited by grimace

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While I don't advocate the de-extinction of mammals or any mobile/motile organisms for that matter, I would love to see some plant species come back to life. And like the applications aforementioned, we can possibly save certain plants from extinction as well. I view this as a more stable option than bringing back an extinct animal.

 

But if we do clone an extinct species, I think it's more proper to sate our curiosity on that single specimen and study it rather than try to bring back its whole species.

 

Genetic variability is another hurdle with cloning back species. It would be many, many generations before a genetically stable, non-fragile population of animals could be introduced back into hypothetical habitat, and even then you'll be seeing very low reproducibility and success rate, like the critically endangered Spix macaw. I'd rather see the animals that are still alive and struggling to maintain genetic strength be given further research into breeding stable, viable populations.

Hm, I wonder if DNA particle bombardment on a single cell embryo of the extinct species can be a solution to that problem by introducing genetic diversity not limited to the gene pool of that species, which can increase the total genetic variability of the species temporarily as it recovers to an ideal population size. That sounds expensive and unreliable with current technology, however.

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I am for the de-extinction of organisms whose extinction was caused by human irresponsibility (the dodo, tasmanian tiger, etc etc etc to infinity) but I'm not really into de-extinction for the sake of bringing back some long-extinct animal as an attraction. Saving species that should be here in the first place? Cool. Jurassic Park (I know it's physically impossible anyway but bear with me for the sake of the metaphor)? Absolutely not.

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I'm on the fence about this. While I would love to someday bring back these animals for future generations to see 1st hand, the aspect of playing god and bringing back species that humans originally caused to go extinct makes me feel uneasy.

 

Nine also has the very valid point of having enough genetic diversity to retain those resurrected species. While I don't know for certain, I'm guessing part of the reason all the remaining white rhinos are sterile is the fact that they've been so inbred. Creating clones would make for a very limited gene pool. Possibly hybridizing may solve this, but depending on how it's done that can also cause infertility, such in the case of mules.

 

Before bringing back dead species, I think we first need to instead focus on preserving the creatures we still have and educate future generations to be conscientious of the impact we have on the rest of the animal kingdom.

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I think it's awesome, but let's care more about the species we already have instead of bringing back the ones we didn't care for in the first place.

 

It'll be an endless cycle of bringing back animals that we caused to be extinct.

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All for it if they can make a pygmy Velociraptor about the size of a small house cat that is also domesticated.

 

Otherwise I think that bringing back animals that became extinct due to humans (the dodo, tigers, the lions from Western Us, future species, etc.) is a great idea. Even if they can't be re-released back into the wild.

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All for it if they can make a pygmy Velociraptor about the size of a small house cat that is also domesticated.

 

Otherwise I think that bringing back animals that became extinct due to humans (the dodo, tigers, the lions from Western Us, future species, etc.) is a great idea. Even if they can't be re-released back into the wild.

Definitely not in favor of the pet raptors. Feral dogs and cats are enough of a problem as it is; I'd rather not think of the added complication of feral pet dinosaurs. >..<

 

Also, I'm curious as to what the reasoning behind bringing back animals that couldn't be reintroduced into the wild would be. Are we talking about resurrecting species purely for their entertainment value, or something else?

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Definitely not in favor of the pet raptors. Feral dogs and cats are enough of a problem as it is; I'd rather not think of the added complication of feral pet dinosaurs. >..<

 

Also, I'm curious as to what the reasoning behind bringing back animals that couldn't be reintroduced into the wild would be. Are we talking about resurrecting species purely for their entertainment value, or something else?

If they are domesticated it's all good xd.pngxd.png (so joking)

 

Well if they couldn't be reintroduced because of deforestation or loss of habitat (ever heard of the Los Angeles Lions?) they can be used for research on their behavior and such. Like not in research facilities (though there are some nice animal research groups that are nicely funded and those I think would be fined) but in well-funded zoos. They would be raised in captivity and I think it could teach people about these animals that we once had that we caused to go extinct.

 

They can also try to be introduced to new habitats as well. But with a quick rising rate of loss of habitats it will be hard to find areas that aren't already overpopulated.

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I'd try to tame a raptor family from the eggs >.> Might die as a result of it though.

 

But it depends on what they bring bac. Dinosaurs would be a big no-no cause you can literally die from even the most harmless of dinos if you're not careful enough.

 

 

But animals like the Tasmanian Tigers, yes please

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I'd be alright with bringing back dinos, but that would only be possible via altering embryos. The DNA is long gone by now, anyway.

 

For animals that are extinct because of us? Yes please. It can save a whole lot of species, and teach us stuff about them too. *two thumbs up*

Edited by Esko_the_Wolf

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The dodo, the Los Angeles Lions, the Cape Lions, Thylacine, the GUAM FLYING FOX wub.gif etc.

 

Bringing them back could teach the world what we've done wrong, what we could do to better protect these animals. And some of these animals weren't even helpless, they just were helpless against our machines that killed them and their home

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They can also try to be introduced to new habitats as well. But with a quick rising rate of loss of habitats it will be hard to find areas that aren't already overpopulated.

The problem with reintroducing extinct species back into the wild would be that the niche they use to take up in their environment may have been overtaken by a different animal species. For example, I've been doing some research on a species of animal called stag-moose that lived during the last ice age and some paleontologists think that the North American moose may have caused stag-mooses to go extinct by overtaking their niche.

 

Extinct species that are brought back and reintroduced to the wild would have to compete with already existing animals. Either they'd die off or cause the other competing species to disappear. Along with that would be the problem of how they fit in the food chain with prey and predators. Whether there's enough food to keep sustain the population as well as having predators to keep numbers in check.

 

Overall, reintroducing extinct species would be akin to introducing a foreign and possibly invasive species.

Edited by Daydreamer09

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In theory, it's not a bad idea to bring back some of the recently extinct animals to keep some of the ecosystems running as they should. Reintroducing wolves (not extinct, I suppose, but they were locally extinct..?) to Yellowstone apparently had some great effects.

 

There probably won't be many DNA samples, so the gene pool will be ridiculously small. For animals with complex learned behaviours, it won't be easy to teach them again. For example, if they had to avoid poisonous foods, follow migration paths, etc. And the money required would be... a lot.

Many of the animals mentioned in this thread are blatantly being mentioned because they look really cool. Thylacines, for example, have been mentioned a lot, but as far as I'm aware their extinction hasn't really caused many problems. It's sad that they're gone, but ecologically, does it matter that much? I would rather see money being invested on bringing back species to places where it's really needed, and where multiple species could die as a result of one going extinct.

And even if the thylacine was bought back, I doubt it would last long. If you bought back an obscure insect or bird, no one would care. They're not charismatic and no one wants to have a mounted dead specimen on their wall. A thylacine, though? People pay silly amounts to shoot lions, and there are a decent amount of them left and they have never been extinct. Can you imagine how many people would want to capture one, shoot one, etc? You're suddenly introducing an animal that is beautiful, and most of the people alive today haven't even seen one in real life. They could be at a massive risk, again, and if it didn't work out, then that's millions and millions and millions of pounds that could have been spent trying to save another ecosystem.

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Probably best to slow current rates of extinction and climate demise before we start playing necromancer.

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As long as the animals being re-created are relatively harmless, I don't see why not. However, I don't want to see terror birds or (phorusrhacidae) or dinosaurs running around. Even a herbivore could affect us in ways we cannot imagine - just imagine how to keep a 120 ton dinosaur in the place it's supposed to be, or how to take care of feeding it - or taking care of its poo. xd.png

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