Proof that global warming isn't all bad, the rise in temperatures has softened up some of the frozen ground in Eastern Russia and has led to the discovery of a large number of woolly mammoths that have otherwise been perfectly preserved in the permafrost. A team made up of the Sakha Republic's mammoth museum and Japan's Kinki University have decided to use this opportunity as God intended, namely by usurping His will and returning these extinct creatures back to the biosphere through cloning.
All they have to do is swap some undamaged mammoth bone marrow cells into some elephant ones (this works because of the animals' close relationship), tuck the whole thing in a pachyderm womb to cook and voilà, you got yourself a real-life woolly mammoth. Let's all give science a high five!
Why should we stop there? It's like Cave Johnson said, "Science isn't about why. It's about why not?" With that in mind, we'd like to petition the following extinct animals for top of the cloning list. Please note, no dinosaurs made the list because we've seen Jurassic Park and there is a big difference between playing God and actively begging him to feed you to a velociraptor.
We put out a call to our friends on Facebook to nominate animals for this list, and almost all of them wanted the dodo... and all of them had the same reason: Culinary. They all wanted to know what dodo tastes like, and having been on a chicken and turkey diet for the last three months, we could do with some variety ourselves. Besides, an animal whose name is derived from a Dutch word meaning "fat ass" has got to be good eating, right?
Well, opinions differ. Most reports from the 18th century say that the meat of the dodo was unpleasant, and not at all palatable next to the much more agreeable pigeon. Earlier accounts merely mention the meat as tough. At least one species, the red rail, was highly sought by the Dutch and French as a game bird, so maybe we'll see KFD after all. The Colonel can make anything worth eating from a bucket.
Art Attack loves us some sloths, almost as much as we love the slow loris. The cute-faced lazy hangers are descendants of something much larger and much more badass, though, the Megatherium.
Only the woolly mammoth was larger than the giant sloth, which went extinct roughly 5 million years ago. When it stood upright on its hind legs, it towered over the mammoths and was almost twice the height of a modern elephant.
Megatherium was mostly an herbivore, though occasionally it bitch-slapped saber-toothed tigers and ate their kills for reasons that include shits and/or giggles. They tended to just wander around in herds, sleeping when and wherever because there wasn't anything that could kill them. At least one extinction event that wiped out every other bit of megafauna in Central and South America barely even fazed megatherium. Like the mammoth, humans eventually did them in.
We said no dinosaurs, and we meant it. Dimetrodon isn't a dinosaur. It isn't a reptile either. As a synapsid, the Dimetrodon is actually a distant ancestor of mammals, and had more in common with us than it did with the more similar-looking true reptiles. It's the oldest creature on this list, having gone extinct roughly 200 million years ago.
The sail on its back is thought to have been used for body-heat regulation, which sounds kind of lame, like your girlfriend always stealing your coat because she's cold. Well, if your girlfriend could also eat sharks and pretty much anything that it happened to come upon. Also, there's a theory that the sail enabled the cold-blooded animal to warm itself up a good 50 percent faster than your average ectotherm, which made it basically a methed-up crocodile weighing up to a quarter of a ton. The moral of this story is, give her your coat or making you a sandwich will take on a whole new horrifying meaning.
We're sorry to dash the hopes and dreams of little girls and bronies everywhere, but this is what a unicorn really looks like. Elasmotherium is an extinct, one-horned rhinoceros with long, horse-like legs. It survived up to about 50,000 years ago in Siberia, a land known for its legends of giant unicorns inhabiting the Steppes. Now, there is no hard evidence that elasmotherium survived into legendary times or was any sort of direct inspiration for the magical unicorn, but at over 8 feet tall, 15 feet wide and carrying a horn that may have reached 2 meters in length, the beast is certainly something to talk about.
Like the mammoth, we have a pretty close relative of the elasmotherium to work with in the modern rhino, and being an inhabitant of the same area that has now been freed up by global warming, it may be one of the most likely candidates for cloning should a suitable specimen be found.
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The technical name for Triple D is bullockornis, but it's from Australia and they weren't going to put up with you calling their giant murder duck something that sounded like "bollocks." The demon duck ruled Australia 15 million years ago. It stood 8 feet tall, weighed 500 pounds and had a beak designed for shearing through flesh like a damned scimitar. Its skull alone was the size of a small horse, so if the knife didn't get you the headbutt would. Wow, that has got to be the most Australian sentence ever typed.
The demon duck is obviously related to the present-day non-demon duck, though anyone who has been on the receiving end of their massive corkscrew-shaped rape wands might argue that the blood of the demon is still strong in its descendants. Seriously, scientists estimate that up to a third of all duck copulation is forced. What better way to punish them for their sins than by making one of them birth their giant, quacking Anti-Christ?