First Woolly Mammoth Calves to be Born in 2028, Thylacine and Dodo are Next: Biologists Say

Woolly mammoths are iconic animals from the ice age that once roamed the cold ecosystems of Asia, Europe, and North America. They are often seen in movies, documentaries, children’s stories, and other literature in contemporary times. Most members of the said megafauna species went extinct in different parts of the world more than 10,000 years ago, a period of significant climate change during the end of the last ice age.

Only a small, isolated population of mammoths survived long until several thousands of years ago. The extinction of the ancient elephant species has also drawn various theories, ranging from deadly viruses to human hunting and meteor strikes. However, prevailing evidence shows that the prehistoric wild animals likely went extinct due to climate change and not due to anthropogenic causes.

Woolly Mammoth De-Extinction Project

First Woolly Mammoth Calves to be Born in 2028, Thylacine and Dodo are Next: Biologists Say
(Photo : Photo by Thomas Quine via Wikimedia Commons)

For decades, scientists in the fields of biology and genetics have collaborated to study not only fossils but also potential ways to place the woolly mammoth into a de-extinction process. This initiative also goes for some extinct animals that might be familiar to some people, including the thylacine or Tasmanian tiger and the dodo bird.

Over the past decade, progress in these fields made resurrecting extinct animals to be no longer a fiction. Now, biologists have assured that the first woolly mammoth calves will be born in 2028, marking the much-anticipated comeback of the long-extinct giant tusked mammal, according to reports earlier this week.

According to Colossal Biosciences, a genetics and biosciences company, its landmark woolly mammoth de-extinction project will pave the way for the resurrection of “Earth’s old friend and new hero.” This second generation of mammoths to be born from the project would still possess the core biological traits of the cold-resistant elephants, according to the company’s website, which also provides a timeline of the de-extinction initiative.

Also Read: Genetics Company Plans to Bring Extinct Tasmanian Tiger to Life, Will It Work?

First Mammoth Births in 2028

The first mammoth births in 2028 is a highly-anticipated monumental event concerning conservation and the field of science itself, according to an article by Colossal’s CEO and co-founder, Ben Lamm, and head of biological sciences, Eriona Hysolli, on Thursday, February 8. The company’s team is also reportedly working on the potential resurrection of the Tasmanian tiger and dodo in the future.

Unlike the woolly mammoth, there is strong evidence that the carnivorous marsupial thylacine and flightless bird dodo both went extinct due to anthropogenic or human-caused factors. Based on previous reports, the thylacines in Australia were hunted to extinction during the European colonization of the country.

Meanwhile, the dodo birds that were endemic to the island of Mauritius (east of Madagascar) went extinct due to several factors, including hunting, habitat loss, and newly introduced animals by humans. After hundreds of years, advancement in our technology may lead to the de-extinction of these two extinct animals.

Related Article: Dodo Might Be Resurrected After Scientists Examine Extinct Bird’s Dna For the First Time

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