Woolly Mammoths: Making a comeback or ‘creature of the past’?


They roamed the earth nearly 150 thousand years ago and have been extinct for about 10 thousand, but is this furry ancestor of the modern day elephant closer to making a return than anyone previously thought?  That’s what some scientists believe.  As finding frozen mammoth remains have been common over the last couple centuries, researchers say that the idea of fertilizing a female egg of a closely related animal with the sperm of an intact frozen mammal is perhaps, possible.  However, some critics argue that there’s little to zero chance that fertilization of an elephant egg would occur.  The reason for this, critics contend that preserved DNA is broken into thousands of fragmented pieces.  And even if fertilization was possible, the newly born mammoth would only be a hybrid.  That means half elephant, half mammoth.  Ethical concerns have arisen as well, with critics contending that the proper habitat sufficient for the mammath is no longer in existence.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/14/AR2006081400749.html

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/04/0408_050408_woollymammoth.html

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