Jurassic Park? Scientists Want to Resurrect Extinct Animals [30 PICS]

March 28th, 2013 Permalink

Resurrection of extinct species is no longer science fiction, according to National Geographic in an article about de-extinction. If the science is there, should we bring animals back into living, breathing specimens? But even if they can bring these animals back from extinction, should they? Is it playing God, or the utilization of science? With the Jurassic Park movie coming out 20 years later in 3D, our first thought was a what-if they could create it for real? However even if successful, there is still not the science to eventually give into temptation, resurrect dinosaurs and recreate Jurassic Park. Revive & Restore says it is “working with de-extinction scientists worldwide to build a roster of potentially revivable species.” These are the candidates . . . with a few dinosaurs and Jurassic Park movie clips tossed in just because they are cool. [30 Photos, 5 Videos]

Jurassic Park T-Rex Dinosaur, Scientists want resurrect 24 extinct animals but not recreate dinosaurs such as in Jurassic Park

Scientists want resurrect extinct animals and immediately we thought of dinosaurs like in Jurassic Park. But scientists say they do not want recreate dinosaurs such as Jurassic Park T-Rex Dinosaur; the science is not there at this point to make it a reality. They called it ‘de-extinction’ and it was the topic of a TEDx conference in Washington DC sponsored by National Geographic. The scientists met to discuss which animals should be brought back from extinction as well as the why, how and ethics of doing so. Revive and Restore is working with the scientists and have compiled a candidate list of potentially revivable species. Photo #1 by Scott Kinmartin

Smilodon Saber-toothed tiger (saber-toothed cat)

Smilodon: Saber-toothed cat, commonly and incorrectly called a saber-toothed tiger. It died out about 10,000 years ago because of climate changes at the end of the last Ice Age. This Saber-tooth cat model was “flagged” as inaccurate because the paws were considered too small. National Geographic wrote, “Bringing Them Back to Life: The revival of an extinct species is no longer a fantasy. But is it a good idea?” Photo #2 by Tiberio



Life-sized models of a Woolly Mammoth and a baby Woolly Mammoth in the Brno museum Anthropos

Life-sized models of a Woolly mammoth and a baby Woolly Mammoth in the Brno museum Anthropos. These prehistoric animals were about the same size as African elephants are today. 6,400 years ago, a group lived on St. Paul Island and another group lived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until about 4,000 years ago. Scientists have access to well-preserved DNA due to the discovery of frozen carcasses. The National Geographic article continues: “’It’s gone very much further, very much more rapidly than anyone ever would’ve imagined,’ says Ross MacPhee, a curator of mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. ‘What we really need to think about is why we would want to do this in the first place, to actually bring back a species’.” Photo #3 by HTO

Mastodon compared to man

Mastodon compared to man. About 12,000 years ago, the Mastodon became extinct. It was related to elephants that lived in North and Central America. Michael Archer, a paleontologist at the University of New South Wales, is in favor of de-extinction and told National Geographic, “‘If we’re talking about species we drove extinct, then I think we have an obligation to try to do this. Some people protest that reviving a species that no longer exists amounts to playing God. Archer scoffs at the notion. ‘I think we played God when we exterminated these animals’.” Photo #4 by Dantheman9758

Thylacine, Tasmanian tiger also called Tasmanian wolf

Thylacine, The Tasmanian tiger was also called Tasmanian wolf. It lived in Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea until the 1960s when it became extinct. It was the only marsupial to make the list. Photo #5 by Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office

Flightless and extinct Dodo birds

The flightless Dodo birds were considered a myth for a long time. “Even though the rareness of the Dodo was reported already in the 17th century, its extinction was not recognized until the 19th century.” These flightless birds are known for being dumb, but they had no predators on their island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, so they were fearless. When humans came to the Dodos home island, the birds were all killed for food. The photographer said that the photo was from a movie that showed Primeval Dodos not being “the soft-hearted creatures we thought.” Photo #6 by mwanasimba

Extinct Quagga, seen here stuffed in the Naturkunde Museum, Berlin

Extinct Quagga, seen here stuffed in the Naturkunde Museum, Berlin. It was related to the plains zebra and lived in South Africa. In 1870, the last wild Quagga was shot and in 1883 the last one in captivity died. Photo #7 by FunkMonk

Steller's sea cow, hydrodamalis gigas skeleton, as seen at the National Museum of Natural History, Paris

The extinct sea mammal Steller’s sea cow, was related to manatees, but was much larger and “grew to at least 8 to 9 meters (26 to 30 ft) in length as an adult.” It is believed have become extinct in 1768. “Within 27 years of discovery by Europeans, the slow-moving and easily-captured Steller’s sea cow was hunted to extinction.” This hydrodamalis gigas skeleton is at the National Museum of Natural History, Paris. Photo #8 by FunkMonk

Should We Bring Extinct Species Back to Life? Video #1 by NationalGeographic

Aurochs ancestors of domestic cattle, extinct since 1627

Aurochs were ancestors to domestic cattle. They were once a distributed in almost whole of Europe, large parts of Asia, and North Africa, but they were extinct by 1627. Photo #9 by vic15

Pyrenean ibex died out in January 2000, but had lived in Southern France and the Northern Pyrenees

The Pyrenean ibex died out in January 2000, but had lived in Southern France and the Northern Pyrenees. It was more commonly called bucardo in Spanish and was one of the “four subspecies of the Spanish ibex or Iberian wild goat, a species that is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula.” Before it became extinct, “scientists attempted to clone DNA from one of the last females.” National Geographic explained, “On July 30, 2003, a team of Spanish and French scientists reversed time. They brought an animal back from extinction, if only to watch it become extinct again.” This is the animal they revived. 1898 Illustration #10 by Richard Lydekker

Caribbean monk seal

The last confirmed sighting of the Caribbean monk seal in the wild was “in 1952 at Serranilla Bank, between Jamaica and Nicaragua.” It was sometimes called the sea wolf or west Indian seal. As an adult, they reached about 8 ft (2.4 m) in length. They are closely related to Hawaiian monk seals and Mediterranean monk seals, both of which are “critically endangered.” After a five year search by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service, this seal species was officially declared extinct in 2008. These docile seals were killed for blubber and over-fishing of reefs added to their demise. The photo was from 1910 of a captured Caribbean monk seal at the New York Aquarium. Photo #11 by New York Zoological Society & Scientific sketch by U.S. National Museum via NOAA

Great Auk

Remember the extinct Quagga above? This exhibit at the Naturalis in Leiden, Netherlands, also has a stuffed Great Auk, another flightless bird like the Dodo. The Quagga is believed to have been the last one alive. It passed away at the Amsterdam Artis Zoo in 1883. In front is the Leiden Auk, Great Auk specimen. The Great Auk is believed to have gone extinct in 1852. Revive & Restore ‘How Desirable’ criteria is: “Iconic? Beloved? Missed? Did the species play an important ecological role? Was the species the last of its genus or family, and not just one sub-species among several surviving sub-species? Will having the species back help answer important scientific questions?” Photo #12 by Konstantin Kirilov

Baiji, Chinese river dolphin, Yangtze River dolphin

The Baiji, also called Chinese river dolphin, or Yangtze River dolphin, is one of three sea mammals on the list of candidate species. Wikipedia states, “In August 2007, a Chinese man reportedly videotaped a large white animal swimming in the Yangtze. Although it was tentatively confirmed that the animal on the video is probably a baiji, the presence of only one or a few animals, particularly of advanced age, is not enough to save a functionally extinct species from true extinction. The last known living baiji was Qi Qi, who died in 2002.” Photo #13 by Alessio Marrucci & Photo via Animal Info

Extinct New Zealand bird was flightless, pictured Haast's Eagle attacking a moa on display at Te Papa

Extinct New Zealand bird, the moa was also flightless. Wikipedia states, “The moa’s only predator was the massive Haast’s Eagle until the arrival of human settlers. The Māori arrived sometime before A.D. 1300, and all moa genera were soon driven to extinction by hunting and, to a lesser extent, forest clearance. By about A.D. 1400 almost all moa are generally thought to have become extinct, along with the Haast’s Eagle which had relied on them for food.” Left: A model of a Haast’s Eagle attacking a moa on display at Te Papa. Right: Preserved moa foot, Natural History Museum. Photo #14 by DO’Neil & Photo by Ryan Baumann

Elephant bird

It is widely believed that the extinction of Aepyornis, commonly called the Elephant bird, was a result of human activity. The flightless birds used to live from the northern to the southern tip of Madagascar. “The exact time period when they died out is also not certain; tales of these giant birds may have persisted for centuries in folk memory.” Revive & Restore Practical criteria is: “Was the extinction recent? Close living relative available? Deep-frozen tissue or germ plasm available? Well preserved specimens with ‘ancient DNA’ available? Manageably smallish genome? Enough specimens for genetic diversity? Eggs accessible in the living related females for easier cloning?” Photo #15 by LadyofHats

Carolina parakeet, mounted specimen, Museum Wiesbaden, Deutschland, Germany

Carolina parakeet, mounted specimen, Museum Wiesbaden, Deutschland, Germany. It was “the only parrot species native to the eastern United States. The last known wild specimen was killed in Okeechobee County, Florida, in 1904, and the last captive bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918.” Photo #16 by Fritz Geller-Grimm

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the world, at roughly 20 inches in length and 30 inches in wingspan. It was native to the virgin forests of the southeastern United States. Despite these high-profile reports from Arkansas and Florida and sporadic reports elsewhere in the historic range of the species since the 1940s, there is no conclusive evidence for the continued existence of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.” The hand-painted black and white photo: “Male Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Believed to be extinct in the 1960-70’s in the United States, but found in Cuba in 1980’s.” Photo #17 by Arthur A. Allen & colored by Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Stuffed passenger pigeon

Passenger pigeon, or wild pigeon, was a North American bird that became extinct in 1914. Photo #18 by Keith Schengili-Roberts

Tricolor Cuban Macaw, Cuban Red Macaw extinct in late 19th century

Tricolor Cuban Macaw, also called the Cuban Red Macaw went extinct in the late 19th century. “It was the last species of macaw native to the Caribbean islands to go extinct.” 1800 Painting #19 by Jacques Barraband & 1907 Painting by John Gerrard Keulemans

Imperial Woodpeckers, male and female

The Imperial Woodpecker “is the world’s largest woodpecker species at 56–60 cm (22–24 in) long. It was once widespread and, until the early 1950s, not uncommon throughout the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. The last confirmed report was of one female in Durango in 1956 and the species is probably now extinct.” The photo shows stuffed Imperial Woodpeckers, male (top) and female. Revive & Restore Rewildable criteria is: “Original habitat intact or restorable? Are original causes of the extinction known and correctable? Will the species breed easily in captivity? Are its skills for the wild independent of wild-parent training? Is rewilding workable for the species? Is rewilding the species workable for the habitat?” Photo #20 by Fritz Geller-Grimm

Stuffed Labrador Ducks, 1878 extinct North American bird

Stuffed Labrador Ducks; these North American birds have been extinct since 1878. Photo #21 by Ryan Somma

Heath hen became extinct in 1932

Specimen of female Heath Hen in the Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois. “They lived in the scrubby heathland barrens of coastal North America from southernmost New Hampshire to northern Virginia in historical times, but possibly south to Florida prehistorically.” The Heath hen became extinct in 1932. Photo #22 by Arthur Chapman

Dusky Seaside Sparrow

The last definite known Dusky Seaside Sparrow “died on June 17, 1987, and the subspecies was officially declared extinct in December 1990. Its dark coloration and distinct song are what separates it as a subspecies of other seaside sparrows. The dusky’s demise began in 1940 when DDT was sprayed on the marshes for the control of mosquitoes. This pesticide entered the bird’s food chain which caused the population to go from 2,000 to 600 breeding pairs. When Merritt Island was flooded with the goal of reducing the mosquito population around Kennedy Space Center, the sparrows’ nesting grounds were devastated, and their numbers plummeted. Later, the marshes surrounding the river were drained, to facilitate highway construction; this was a further blow. Eventually, pollution and pesticides took such a high toll that by 1979, only six dusky seaside sparrows were known to exist — all of whom were males; a female was last sighted in 1975.” Photo #23 by United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Taxidermy exhibit of a Huia pair at Museum für Naturkunde, Germany; extinct in 1907

Taxidermy exhibit of a Huia pair at Museum für Naturkunde, Germany. Huia “was the largest species of New Zealand wattlebird; the last confirmed sighting of a Huia was on 28 December 1907 in the Tararua Ranges.” Photo #24 by Haplochromis

Male and female Moho

Male and female Moho “that were endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.” Before extinction, they were known as ‘O’o in Hawaii. Photo #25 by 1893 Illustration by John Gerrard Keulemans & 1893 Illustration by John Gerrard Keulemans

Mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex, Welcome to Jurassic Park 3D

Nah, no dinosaurs on the de-extinction list; we just think T-Rex is pretty cool. “Welcome to Jurassic Park!! The photographer added, “At the Natural History Museum of London there are several robotics dinosaurs which are so impressive!” National Geographic wrote, “In Jurassic Park dinosaurs are resurrected for their entertainment value. The disastrous consequences that follow have cast a shadow over the notion of de-extinction, at least in the popular imagination. But people tend to forget that Jurassic Park was pure fantasy. In reality the only species we can hope to revive now are those that died within the past few tens of thousands of years and left behind remains that harbor intact cells or, at the very least, enough ancient DNA to reconstruct the creature’s genome. Because of the natural rates of decay, we can never hope to retrieve the full genome of Tyrannosaurus rex, which vanished about 65 million years ago.” Photo #26 by Ignacio García

Because we first thought of Jurassic Park when we heard that scientists want to bring back this list of candidate species from extinction, we wanted to show Jurassic Park clips as it was a great movie. My son was crazy for dinosaurs after he saw it. He knew so much about dinos at age 3 that the executive director of the Natural History and Science Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was impressed, probably thinking future paleontologist. My son was given a grand tour, including behind the scenes. It was pretty cool. Video #2 by movieclips

Dinosaur at Indroda Dinosaur and Fossil Park

Plenty of people would like to go see such an island with dinosaurs . . . at least when they aren’t real. Indroda Dinosaur and Fossil Park, Gandhinagar, is known as ‘India’s Jurassic Park.’ It has been described as the second largest hatchery of dinosaur eggs in the world. The Park was set up by the Geological Survey of India.” Photo #27 by FabSubeject

Jurassic Park Velociraptor at Valencia, Spain

Velociraptor at Valencia, Spain. Photo #28 by Marta S. Gufstasson

Raptors in the Kitchen (1993) HD. Here we are in 2013 and the movie was made into 3D. Video #3 by movieclips

Model of allosaurus in Bałtow Jurassic Park, Bałtów, Poland

Model of allosaurus in Bałtow Jurassic Park, Bałtów, Poland. Photo #29 by Jakub Hałun

Spinosaurus vs. T-Rex (2001) HD. Video #4 by movieclips

Jurassic Park sign at filming location of Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu

Jurassic Park sign at filming location of Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu. If they really could create such a park, and that probably wouldn’t end well in the long run, would you go? Photo #30 by William Fisher

The Making of Jurassic Park. Do you think scientists should resurrect tamer extinct species . . . or do you suppose if successful and science capabilities advance that our children’s children might someday visit a place like Jurassic Park? Video #5 by NBCJurassicPark



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