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The Top 10 Extinct Animals The Public Want Resurrected

A survey launched by Breakthrough Press discovered the top 10 animals in demand for resurrection.

The "Missouri Leviathan" mastodon was on display at the British Museum in 2017. Photo by Thomas Quine (flicker, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, image resized).

A survey launched by Breakthrough Press amid reports of a gene-editing firm’s plan to resurrect the Dodo has revealed the 10 animals in most demand for resurrection among the public. The survey, answered by over 100 people, provided some insight into the state of public demand for the reintroduction of extinct animals, with the list featuring the likes of the sabre-tooth tiger, the Irish elk, and the dodo.

In ascending order, here are the public’s top choices.

10. Woolly Rhino

Image Credits: Woolly Rhino Credits: Janet Mcknight Flickr

Once native to Europe and Asia, the Woolly Rhino succumbed to extinction over 10,000 years ago. Remains of this species have been preserved by permafrost, while cave paintings have depicted these animals being hunted by humans. Alongside human hunting, climate change from post-Ice Age earth was said to have played a role in their extinction

9. Pyrenean Ibex

Image: Pyrenean Ibex Credits: Wikimedia Commons KKPCW

Formerly an inhabitant of the Spanish and French Pyrenees mountains, the Pyrenean Ibex went extinct in the year 2000 as a result of human hunting and competition from sharing land with other species such as goats, sheep, and horses. Attempts to resurrect this species through cloning were reported by The Telegraph, but the cloned Ibex sadly died minutes after birth.

8. Sabre Tooth Tiger

Image: Sabre-toothed Tiger, Horniman Museum, London. Credits: Jim Linwood Flickr

Officially named the Smilodon, this species of the cat was found in North and South America and went extinct over 10,000 years ago. Whilst its exact cause of extinction is unclear, it’s claimed to have been influenced by their tendency to rely on preying on larger animals such as bison, which were gradually replaced by more agile animals such as deer, alongside a change in climate as well as competition with other species.

7. Irish Elk

Image: Irish Elk Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Claimed to have been over two meters tall, the Irish Elk went extinct over 8,000 years ago. Their distinctly large antlers were influential in their extinction, sometimes getting caught in tree branches whilst being unable to consume enough food to grow their antlers and adapt.

6. Carolina Parakeet

Image: Conuropsis_carolinensis_(Carolina_parakeet) Credits: James St. John Wikimedia Commons

Declared extinct in 1939, the Carolina parakeet was typically found in the eastern, midwestern, and "great plains" states of the United States. Identified by their green, yellow, and red feathering, the feathers were hunted by humans, a key driver behind their extinction.

5. West African Black Rhino

Image: African Black Rhino Credits: @cuatrok77 Flickr

Once found throughout West Africa, this subspecies of the Black Rhino was declared extinct in 2011. Despite efforts to protect this species, including artificial fertilization and intervention from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), this rhino went extinct as a result of human hunting and habitat loss.

4. Baiji White Dolphin

Image: Chinese Baiji dolphin specimen Credits: Wikimedia commons

Declared extinct in 2007, this species of dolphin was found in China’s Yangtze River. Perishing as a result of intrusions such as fishing, habitat destruction, and boat traffic, the Baiji White is regarded as the first species of dolphin to become extinct as a result of human activity.

3. Steller’s Sea Cow

Image: The Model and Skeleton of Steller's sea cow Credits: Wikimedia Commons

At number three, a species that was once typically found within the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia, the Steller’s Sea Cow, gained its name from explorer Georg Steller. This species was slow and easy for humans to hunt for their meat, fat, and hide; just 27 years after being discovered by Steller, they went extinct.

2. Dodo

Image: Dodo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

A flightless bird native to Mauritius, the Dodo was said to have been three feet tall and distinctive for their beak and short wings. Having no natural predators on their island, the Dodo moved slowly and trusted humans, becoming an easy target for hunters after their discovery by Dutch sailors late in the 16th century.

Plans to use genetic engineering to bring back the Dodo were soon to be announced, according to a Breakthrough Press story.

1. Woolly Mammoth

Image: Woolly mammoth model Royal BC Museum in Victoria Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The Woolly Mammoth is ranked first, with support for their resurrection coming from nearly half of all voters. Distinguished by its thick fur coat and bent tusks, this extinct animal has made a mark on popular culture, with woolly mammoth Manfred acquiring a leading role in the Ice Age franchise (voiced by Ray Romano). Around 4,000 years ago, climatic change, human hunting, and mutational failures are thought to have led to the demise of a species that formerly inhabited Europe, Asia, and North America.

According to Breakthrough Press, the RSPB has expressed concern, stating a need to safeguard presently endangered species as opposed to reviving extinct ones.


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