Massive Fossil Find–Should Ice Age Creatures Be Brought Back From The Dead?
A big find of ice age fossils has been discovered in Los Angeles. These fossils are near the La Brea Tar Pit.
( Above–Los Angeles!)
(Above–Bubbly La Brea Tar Pit. )
“Workers excavating an underground garage on the site of an old May Co. parking structure in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park got more than just a couple hundred new parking spaces. They found the largest known cache of fossils from the last ice age, an assemblage that has flabbergasted paleontologists.”
Below is a LA Times photo of the fossil dig–
Can these Ice Age beasts be brought back to life with DNA? If they could be brought back to life, maybe they could be taught tricks and be shown off at some type of Ice Age World theme park.
According the magazine New Scientist the following things will be needed to bring an extinct ice age beast back to life—
* Well-preserved DNA.
* Several billion DNA building blocks.
* A suitable surrogate species
* Some seriously advanced technology.
(Here is the full New Scientist article on this subject. This magazine is available on many newsstands and for online subscription. Nothing is free in the end.)
From the New Scientist article, here are the steps that need to be taken to bring back an extinct animal—
1. Extract the DNA from your extinct species, sequence the fragments and assemble to obtain a complete genome.
2. Now take your DNA building blocks and recreate the DNA of your extinct beast, in the correct number of chromosomes.
3. Package the chromosomes up into an artificial nucleus and pop it in an egg collected from your suitable surrogate species. This should then develop into an embryo, which will be a clone of a long-dead animal.
4. Grow a baby animal from the embryo. For mammals, implant the embryo in the womb of a compatible surrogate mother. For a reptile or bird, incubate embryo using yet-to-be-developed techniques. For an amphibian or fish where fertilisation takes place outside the body, just sit back and watch.
It is not certain to me that these creatures should be brought back to existence even if possible.
First, there is the prospect that they could come back as some sort of vampire creatures if raised from the dead.
It’s possible these creatures would harbor an “Ice Age Pox” that would wipe out half our population.
Also, these revived beasts would be seen as nothing but freaks. Theme parks and zoos would bid for them and they would become no more than modern day Shamus.
I say let these creatures rest.
(Below–Irish Elk skeleton.)