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Author Topic: Bringing back extinct animals  (Read 420 times)

anubisa

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Bringing back extinct animals
« on: September 16, 2020, 02:18:45 am »
Hi everyone,

So I saw an interesting video on YouTube about scientists planning to bring back some extinct animals. Among them are the dodo and the mammoth. The dodo is one that would be nice to be brought back, but in my opinion you have to think of ethics and such. It would be nice to see the woolly mammoth, but it's been too long extinct and unfortunately, scientists should think about the environment that they would bring it back into. What do you think about it? Here's the link:

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Sefiru

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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 06:34:20 pm »
Hi everyone,

So I saw an interesting video on YouTube about scientists planning to bring back some extinct animals. Among them are the dodo and the mammoth. The dodo is one that would be nice to be brought back, but in my opinion you have to think of ethics and such. It would be nice to see the woolly mammoth, but it's been too long extinct and unfortunately, scientists should think about the environment that they would bring it back into. What do you think about it? Here's the link:

I vaguely recall a 60 Minutes piece from a while back about bringing back mammoths in order to *help* the environment (of the Siberian tundra specifically). I forget how it was supposed to work exactly.

It would also be interesting to see the Dodo brought back ... as a livestock species. I've always wondered how they would compare to turkey. This would also answer the question of 'who would fund all this?'

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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 07:02:41 pm »
I vaguely recall a 60 Minutes piece from a while back about bringing back mammoths in order to *help* the environment (of the Siberian tundra specifically). I forget how it was supposed to work exactly.

I just finished reading The Missing Lynx: The Past and Future of Britain's Lost Mammals by Ross Barnett (published in 2019). He's a paleontologist who has been in the midst of a bunch of the DNA research on prehistoric cats, and of course knows bunches of people working with other prehistoric megafauna. It's a great book, with delightful footnotes.

One of the things he talks about is the reality of being able to get DNA to work with (any time someone says "Get DNA from a fossil" look at them really dubiously. By definition, a fossil has become mineral, and you can't get DNA from that.) That doesn't mean it doesn't ever exist. The mummified mammoths in the permafrost, various skin and hide remnants in other places, there's a possibility of DNA in the roots of teeth, etc. are options.)

The other issue, of course, is that you can, say, produce DNA of an auroch (they only went extinct in 1627, so much easier to find sources for fairly complete DNA than say, a wooly rhinoceros, and they're not super distant from various modern cows), but that doesn't mean the resulting bovid will know how to auroch usefully.

He did go into the ecological implications of what the mammoth did to produce, say, a functional very abundant tundra environment, and how that worked (it's a combination of what they ate, including clearing out things that would eventually become huge trees and shade the entire space, what comes out the other end, and how they play into various seed cycles, as well as the effects of things like compacting snow (which changes the insulation factors, which changes the growth cycles.) It's not just one piece, in other words, it's dozens of effects chained together over the lifespan of the animal.
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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 07:23:16 pm »
What do you think about it?

I'm of two minds: One would love to undo the damage we've done by bringing back species like the Passenger Pigeon, the Great Auk, the Carolina Parakeet...

...but the other sees what you alluded to: The habitat/ecosystem to sustain them may be gone or altered too much, so without efforts to re-create the habitat, we would end up with zoo curiosities, nothing more. And it could lead to a dangerous, careless mentality about conservation going forward. ("Why protect species and preserve habitat? If we wipe 'em out, we can just bring 'em back later.")
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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2020, 07:33:45 am »
I'm of two minds: One would love to undo the damage we've done by bringing back species like the Passenger Pigeon, the Great Auk, the Carolina Parakeet...

...but the other sees what you alluded to: The habitat/ecosystem to sustain them may be gone or altered too much, so without efforts to re-create the habitat, we would end up with zoo curiosities, nothing more. And it could lead to a dangerous, careless mentality about conservation going forward. ("Why protect species and preserve habitat? If we wipe 'em out, we can just bring 'em back later.")


Today I learned of the existence of the Carolina Parakeet. My goodness, they were beautiful birds.
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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2020, 10:25:50 am »
Hi everyone,

So I saw an interesting video on YouTube about scientists planning to bring back some extinct animals. Among them are the dodo and the mammoth. The dodo is one that would be nice to be brought back, but in my opinion you have to think of ethics and such. It would be nice to see the woolly mammoth, but it's been too long extinct and unfortunately, scientists should think about the environment that they would bring it back into. What do you think about it? Here's the link:


I think they should all come back. I think the beaches should know the imprint of terrorbird feet. I want to go swimming with the ammonites and learn old poems from the cameroceras. I want the trilobites to show me how to properly tune a piano.

Sefiru

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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2020, 06:29:56 pm »
I think they should all come back. I think the beaches should know the imprint of terrorbird feet. I want to go swimming with the ammonites and learn old poems from the cameroceras. I want the trilobites to show me how to properly tune a piano.

Ooh, could I have a pet Anomalocaris? I always thought they were cool :)

Altair

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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2020, 07:45:04 pm »

Today I learned of the existence of the Carolina Parakeet. My goodness, they were beautiful birds.

The only parrot native to North America north of Mexico. And we wiped them all out.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
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TheGreenWizard

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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2020, 09:24:07 pm »
Hi everyone,

So I saw an interesting video on YouTube about scientists planning to bring back some extinct animals. Among them are the dodo and the mammoth. The dodo is one that would be nice to be brought back, but in my opinion you have to think of ethics and such. It would be nice to see the woolly mammoth, but it's been too long extinct and unfortunately, scientists should think about the environment that they would bring it back into. What do you think about it? Here's the link:


*Skims through the new threads and sees this one*

FINALLY! I can use my conservation biology degree!!

So, this topic is controversial in the fields of conservation biology, restoration ecology/ecological restoration (former is the theory, the latter is the application), invasive biology, and others. Why? Because - depending on the species that is discussed - the camps for/against grow/shrink accordingly. In addition, there are camps that support it in theory, but not in application, and what not. In general, there's overarching questions that include (but not limited to):
  • How feasible is it to bring the species back? (Like, don't do the Jurassic Park/World shit please - just... don't).
  • When did the species go extinct? (More recently? Okay that should probably be fine; older is a hell no).
  • Are the stressors that caused the species to become extirpated or extinct still present? If so, to what extent?
  • Are the species prey/predator species populations still alive and mostly intact in the area they'll be released into and to what extent?
  • Is there actual habitat for the species to survive in? Will that habitat be present in the future and to what extent (thank you climate crisis for this one)?
  • To what extent would the species be considered invasive in the area that it's being released into?
  • How would the species interact within the ecosystem(s) now?
  • Can the species adapt to the world of humans (considering that everywhere in Earth has been touched by humans directly or indirectly) and to what extent?
  • Do local community stakeholders support this project? (if not, kiss that project goodbye)
  • Does the species have behavioral ecology that we don't know about? How essential is the behavior to the species survival? (HUGE THING that I don't see considered enough)
  • This is a fun question: do we preserve the extant species related to the extinct species or do we pour money into bringing back this extinct species?
There's a bunch of other questions/issues/quandaries that this brings up, however, it can become a slippery slope, and easily go into a philosophical debate/discourse. One such question includes the infamous question of if we're playing God... but that's for another thread.

Let's look at the examples used in the YouTube video:Possible Species That I think we could (and should focus on):
  • Caribbean Monk Seal - I think this is feasible - there's two living relatives and they went extinct in the 50's. Using the DNA of the two other species along with that found in the preserved would be feasible and I think it might work... but there is the question of climate change, prey/predator interactions, and more.
  • Chinese River Dolphin - I'd honestly need to do more research on this one.
  • Pyrenean Ibex - Possible.
Just... No. Hell no:
  • Irish Elk - Just no. Bring this back, and the hunters will poach it so quickly...
  • Dodo - Again, no.
  • Moa - Uhm... no.
  • Woolly Rhinoceros - No. It went extinct at the end of the ice age. It's not going to survive in the future, hotter Earth.
  • Saber-toothed cats... WTF. Why? Just, why?
  • Woolly Mammoth - Again. Why? They went extinct due to Climate change from the ice age to the inter-ice age that happened 10,000 years ago.
  • T-Rex... Y'all. Did we not learn from the fictional movies of Jurassic Park? Like seriously?
I have more opinions depending on the species and would gladly talk about this at length!
« Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 09:31:23 pm by TheGreenWizard »
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TheGreenWizard

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Re: Bringing back extinct animals
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2020, 09:33:29 pm »
The only parrot native to North America north of Mexico. And we wiped them all out.

Yes... and no. Humans were a contributory role to their extinction, yes, however, they upped and died rapidly iat the beginning of the 20th century. One theory is that Newcastle disease (or some other avian disease) wiped them out in a short order of time. Scientists still don't know what the primary reason was for their extinction (we're secondary).
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