Woolly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and passenger pigeons — Oh my! Biologists at the Revive & Restore project are making plans to bring extinct species back to life. Get ready for a real-world Jurassic Park.
"The Mammoth Commeth," blares the cover of The New York Times magazine's latest issue, complete with an image of the long-extinct furry mastodon. "Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool," the subtitle reads. "Unless it ends up being very, very bad." It's not an altogether different headline than what the National Geographic wrote last April: "The revival of an extinct species is no longer a fantasy. But is it a good idea?" The story details the plans of scientists intent on bringing back the world's extinct animals, and the difficulties they would have in doing so.
The obvious, lazy comparison here is to the science fiction of Jurassic Park, but that really is quite accurate. For one, the Times story details how the leaders of the Revive & Restore project collaborated with Russian researcher Sergey Zimov, who has already created "an experimental preserve in Siberia called Pleistocene Park, which he hopes to populate with woolly mammoths." Pleistocene doesn't quite have the ring of Jurassic, but a park for formerly extinct animals is a park for formerly extinct animals.