A Brief History
On September 7, 1936, Benjamin died. Ben was the last Thylacine, better known as the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, a carnivorous marsupial of Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. The introduction of Dingoes and climate change cut into their population, and hunting pressure did the rest.
Now that we have no living Thylacines, should scientists use cloning to resurrect the species? Are there any moral or practical reasons not to? What about other extinct species?
Some of the critters we would like to see brought back through cloning include the Wooly Mammoth and the Wooly Rhinoceros. Finding their frozen remains in the tundra may make this proposition a possibility. Other extinct prehistoric animals may not be brought back due to a lack of suitable DNA.
Recently extinct animals such as the Passenger Pigeon, Dodo, Quagga, and Steller’s Sea Cow are more likely to have DNA that has survived for possible cloning. Should these animals be cloned?
Question for students (and subscribers): What extinct animal would you like brought back? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Hirsch, Rebecca. De-Extinction: The Science of Bringing Lost Species Back to Life. Twenty-First Century Books, 2017.
Holmes, Brandon and Gareth Linnard, editors. Thylacine: The History, Ecology and Loss of the Tasmanian Tiger. CSIRO Publishing, 2023.
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