The Reasoned Retort

The Reasoned Retort

Healthy Perspective for Confusing Times

Scientists to Revive Extinct Species

Canadian scientists today announced plans to use DNA recovered from fossils to revive several long-extinct animal species.  “This is really exciting!” proclaimed Henry Pindar, a researcher with the McMaster’s University Ancient DNA Center. Recent advancements in the science of genome reconstruction have made it possible to resurrect entire super-classes of carnivorous fauna on a scale that, until very recently, was believed to be just a science fiction pipe dream.

“We plan to start with Phorusrhacids,” Pindar stated, “also known as the ‘Terror Bird’.”  Phorusrhacids was a flightless bird that stood approximately 10 feet tall and weighed more than 1,000 lbs.  “It once roamed the prairies of what eventually became North America, chasing down prehistoric deer and dispatching them with a single, bone severing snap of its immense, razor-sharp beak.  Try to imagine this magnificent predator in flocks so large they blackened the plains,” encouraged Pindar, his hands trembling with excitement.

The next species scheduled for ‘de-extinction’ is Smilodon–otherwise known as the sabre-toothed cat.  “This super-predator could outrun every animal in existence,” said Pindar.  “Ursus Horribilis Giganticus, the outsized ancestor of the American grizzly bear, was wiped off the face of the earth by this amazing cat.”

The list of ancient carnivores targeted for de-extinction by the McMaster’s team reads like a Who’s Who of Jurassic terror and bloodshed, and includes:  Megaladon–the monstrous ancestor of today’s great white shark; Pterosaur–40-foot-tall avian that dined on Velociraptor; and Purussaurus–a 45-foot crocodile that fed mainly on mastodons that ventured too close to its watery lair.

“Humans were not always earth’s dominant species,” explained Pindar, “and with the technology we have developed we can restore the natural relationships between the species and re-forge the missing links of nature’s food chain.  What’s more,” he continued, “our process works very rapidly.  By this time next year our de-exctincted species will be so common, every person on earth will encounter them on a daily basis.  My colleagues and I can’t wait!”

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