The way to “de-extintion” (Part 2)

The Quagga return

Image of Nicolas Marecha. Taken of Wikimedia commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Quagga.jpg

What is extinction, and can a species really reappear?

“Extinction” is such a feared word, but at the same time so common, that it is not surprising when a species is mentioned as “endangered” or “extinct”. Sebastián Apesteguía and Roberto Ares mention in their book that, on average, every 20 minutes a species that we will probably never know becomes extinct. Calm down! Don’t panic yet, the data sounds alarming, but remember that just as animals become extinct, new ones also appear; unfortunately, it is not possible to calculate the average with which new species appear, therefore, there is no exact number to determine how critical the situation is.

Formula to revive an extinct species

I would be called crazy if I claimed that it is possible to revive an extinct species, especially given the limitations covered in part 1 of this topic; however, these limitations can be overcome, as the “resurrected” plant of 31,800 years ago did. The attempts to resurrect animals from extinction to continue and one of them is the “Lazarus Project”, which tries to resurrect extinct species, such as the frog is Rheobatrachus silus; a frog that had (already extinct) an exceptional reproduction that consisted of gastric incubation, where the eggs, laid by the female and fertilized by the male, were swallowed by the mother, where they ended up in her stomach, where the tadpoles developed until they come out of the mother’s mouth, turned into frogs; almost like the pouch of the kangaroo. It is not essential to understand this blog, but I recommend my YouTube video on mammals (In spanish, with subtitles).

¿Qué son los mamíferos… y qué es el ornitorrinco? Published in March of this year. Created by the autor

What does Equus quagga quagga have to do with all this?

Also called “Quagga”, the Quagga was a subspecies of Zebra whose fur had a reddish tone with black stripes on its face, neck, sides and mane; It can be seen in the image at the beginning of this blog. La Quagga became extinct in 1870, at a time when nature was thought to be inexhaustible, in the shadow of a lack of environmental awareness.

Selective breeding

Picture taken from “The Quagga Project” Facebook page, shared with the description “Finally! After 2 years of waiting Nina has given birth to a top quality foal. So excited to find this foal in the breeding group this weekend.” https://www.facebook.com/quaggaproject/

The myth of the resurrection of the Mammoths…

I imagine that the reader was thinking during all these minutes about the Mammoths, because when we talk about reviving extinct species, for some reason the Mammoth is the favorite animal; however, all the news about the resurrection of the Mammoth is nothing more than repeated lies that, in reality, with what has been seen in this blog and its first part, can be denied in three simple points:

  1. Mamut’s DNA is highly contaminated.
  2. There are species with higher priority that do need to be “cloned”.
Mamut Lanudo. Image of Carlos Prego, taken from the website Xataka: https://www.xataka.com/investigacion/ciencia-esta-cerca-resucitar-al-mamut-cuestion-ahora-tendra-propiedad-intelectual
How to Clone a Mammoth. Published a year ago by the channel “Long Now Foundation”

Conclusion

Although the de-extinction can be carried out and there is multiple evidence to support its veracity, it is impossible to deduce with certainty if the de-extinction was carried out successfully in a project, precisely because of the absence of the individuals of the original species, not to mention that it is a procedure that is under the limitations of the human being.

References:

— Apesteguía, S., & Ares, R. (2010). Vida en evolución: la historia natural vista desde Sudamérica. Vázquez Mazzini Editores.

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