While the prospect of reviving extinct species has long been discussed, advances in genome editing have now brought such dreams close to reality.
Current view of the steppe mammoth, an ancestor to the woolly mammoth.
Beth Zaiken/Centre for Palaeogenetics
Our results have revolutionised the previously held view of the evolution of mammoths.
A prehistoric woman with a child have left behind the world’s longest trackway.
Some 13,000 years ago, an adult carrying in a child walked 1.5km in mud at great speed in the presence of hungry predators.
The Zimovs take some permafrost depth readings.
© Charlotte Wrigley
The Zimovs want to restore the prehistoric ‘mammoth steppe’ ecosystem and see if it slows down – or even reverses – melting permafrost.
Unlike mammoths, bison survived in Alaska at the end of the last ice age.
The historical record is full of surprises – and it could encourage conservationists to think more creatively.
Extinction of the woolly mammoth and other megafauna caused surviving animals to go their separate ways.
After the woolly mammoth and other megafauna became extinct, surviving animals mingled less. This has big implications for modern conservation.
Scientists have worked out a new way to scan beneath the ground for footprints – and it’s revealing traces of an ancient world.
Mammoths went extinct tens of thousands of years ago, but trade in their ivory is threatening their living elephant cousins.
EPA/FREDERICK VON ERICHSEN
Melting Siberian permafrost is exposing long-dead mammoths, creating a new trade in mammoth ivory.
The now-extinct giant beaver once lived from Florida to Alaska. It weighed as much as 100 kilograms, roughly the same as a small black bear.
Illustrated by Luke Dickey/Western University
Scientists studied the fossilized bones of giant beavers to understand what they ate and whether the species could keep up with environmental change.
An ice-sheet in Greenland’s Inglefield Land is hiding the Hiawatha crater.
Natural History Museum of Denmark, Cryospheric Sciences Lab, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
Meteorite impacts have fundamentally shaped the history of our planet.
A 20-year-old experiment is testing whether filling the Arctic tundra with animals could keep carbon trapped in the ground.
Giant sloths: killed by rainy weather?
A burst of wet weather could have helped to kill off mammoths and other large herbivores, by transforming much of the world’s grasslands into bogs and forests and depriving megafauna of food.
Would a ban on mammoth ivory endanger or save the elephant?
People arguing that a ban on mammoth ivory would help save elephants from extinction are wrong. Here’s why.
Animals that couldn’t adapt to rapid warming quickly succumbed.
Roaming among the dinosaurs in Jurassic World.
ILM/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment
Science-fiction, to some extent, can indeed create science.
Hold on: before we bring dinosaurs back to life as in Jurassic World, we need to look at other extinct critters first.
Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment
Jurassic World is opening in cinemas this Thursday and again raises the idea of resurrecting extinct creatures. But there’s plenty of other contenders before we even think of recreating dinosaurs.
Dodos are best kept in museums these days.
My wildlife friends and I often talk about what species we would bring back from extinction. I am torn between the dodo and the thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger. This was once a speculative…
But where would I live?
Royal BC Museum
It is unlikely that a mammoth could be cloned in the way we created Dolly the sheep, as has been proposed following the discovery of mammoth bones in northern Siberia. However, the idea prompts us to consider…
On the comeback trail?
flickr: London looks
The display of a frozen mammoth in Japan has again raised questions as to the possibility of creating a live born clone of extinct animals. Theoretically, mammoths could be cloned by recovering, reconstructing…
The demise of the woolly mammoth could teach us much about our effect on other species.
When we think of the last 50,000 years of prehistory, particularly the “Ice Age”, extinct species such as the woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros often spring to mind. Did humans bring about the extinction…