Woolly Mammoth to be Resurrected (Video Included)

Japanese researchers plan to resurrect the long-extinct mammoth by using cloning technology to bring the ancient pachyderm back to life in around five years time, according to a report.

The researchers will try to revive the species by obtaining tissue from the carcass of a mammoth preserved in a Russian research laboratory, says Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

“Preparations to realise this goal have been made,” Akira Iritani, leader of the team and a professor emeritus of Kyoto University, told the daily.

Read the full story in ABC Science.

The Woolly Mammoth

The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), also called the tundra mammoth, is an extinct species of mammoth. This animal is known from bones and frozen carcasses from northern North America and northern Eurasia with the best preserved carcasses in Siberia. They are perhaps the most well known species of mammoth.

This mammoth species was first recorded in (possibly 150,000 years old) deposits of the second last glaciation in Eurasia. It was derived from the steppe mammoth. It disappeared from most of its range at the end of the Pleistocene (10,000 years ago), with a dwarfed race still living on Wrangel Island until roughly 1700 BC.

Woolly mammoths are common in the fossil record. Unlike most other prehistoric animals, their remains are often not literally fossilised – that is, turned into stone – but rather are preserved in their organic state. This is due in part to the frozen climate of their habitats, and also to their massive size. Woolly mammoths are therefore among the best-understood prehistoric vertebrates known to science in terms of anatomy.

While large, woolly mammoths were impressive animals, they were, in fact, not noticeably taller than present-day African elephants, though they were heavier. Fully grown mammoth bulls reached heights between 2.8 m (9.2 ft) and 4.0 m (13.1 ft); the dwarf varieties reached between 1.8 m (5.9 ft) and 2.3 m (7.5 ft). They could weigh up to 8 tonnes (8.8 tons).

Learn more in Wikipedia also source of photo’s.

So it seems to be a bit of a race really doesn’t it. By the ABC’s article Japan said around 5 years, and in the video you will hear America say around 10 years, the video was made in 2008, so both are very close to the same time frame. I really don’t know if I agree with this or not, I realize it’s a great leap forward for science, but should we bring back an animal that is extinct? Just because we can doesn’t really mean we should.


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12 Responses to Woolly Mammoth to be Resurrected (Video Included)

  1. malc50 says:

    Hi magsx2, Just to let you know I got your message and am still here!

  2. travelrat says:

    Why are they doing this? Just to show they can?

    The woolly mammoth died out for a reason; maybe they’d do better researching ways of re-introducing species that became extinct due solely to the actions of Man?

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      I don’t understand what the point would be in bringing a Mammoth back to life so to speak, I really don’t know what purpose this would serve.

    • bingbing says:

      I reckon it’s really cool. To be able to see a real one would be awesome. Kids, especially would love it.

      Anyway, didn’t they die out because they were over-hunted, not for any natural reasons?

      • magsx2 says:

        Hi bingbing,
        You are right in thinking the Mammoths died out because of humans to an extent. They totally died out when their habitat became considerably warmer (don’t laugh) due to climate change. Glacial retreat shrank their habitat, 42,000 years ago. A similar event happened 125,000 years ago, human pressure during the later warming period pushed the Mammoth over the brink.
        From the link above in Wikipedia under Extinction.

  3. EternalForms says:

    i saw this in the news yesterday and wondered why, too. sure, i guess it would be neat to see what a real life mammoth would look like, but i’m afraid it would just become some sort of zoo attraction. if scientists had a way to do this using fossils of dinosaurs, would they do it? is a real-life jurassic park right around the corner?!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi EternalForms,
      It certainly does make you wonder what else is on the agenda, and why. I think if they could they would have a go at bringing back dinosaurs as well. I think species die out for a reason, should we bring them all back if possible, I don’t think it would be wise at all.

  4. I detest scientists like that (clearly German) idiot who is all gung-ho about bringing the mammoth back. Modern day elephants don’t have enough habitat to survive and are killed because of it as well as for their ivory. What’s next? Bring back the Neanderthal and lock them up in zoos, like we do with intelligent creatures like bonobos, a species clever enough to watch and enjoy cartoons on telly? Thanks for this thought-provoking, if somewhat frightening blog post. The day when scientists like that become extinct will be a day when we can start to celebrate the new and much improved mankind.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi mariathermann,
      Why is it that some scientists cannot see how this would be a nightmare scenario, these animals died out for a reason, obviously they are not meant to be roaming the earth. It also makes you wonder what else they may be trying behind closed doors.

      • Precisely! That German-accented scientist had rather a mad gleam in his eye when he said we could bring back animals from extinction. Nice when it’s the snow leopard or some humming bird species, but when it’s raptors, giant birds with teeth or those gigantic crocodiles that once roamed the oceans…

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