Colossal Biosciences Wants To Bring Back The Dodo Bird And Other Extinct Animals

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Colossal Biosciences wants to bring back the dodo bird (Credit: BazzaDaRambler/ CC-BY-2.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

Colossal Biosciences is on a quest to bring back extinct animal species. In the past year and a half, the company has announced plans to recreate the woolly mammoth and the Tasmanian tiger. On February 2, 2023, the Texas-based startup added the dodo bird to its de-extinction list. If successful, these efforts could open the door to a new era of biodiversity.

How did the dodo bird go extinct?

The dodo was a flightless bird that lived on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in the 17th century. It stood about three feet (one meter) tall and weighed between 33 and 44 pounds (15 and 20 kg). Researchers believe the dodo was once capable of flying. But that changed when the birds discovered Mauritius. With ample food and no predators, they had no incentive to leave. Over the years, the birds got bigger and heavier, and their wings became too small to allow them to fly.

The dodo's idyllic life changed when Portuguese explorers found the island in the early 1500s. The curious animals were not afraid of the humans and walked right up to them. This made them easy to kill. The sailors also brought other predators like rats, pigs, and monkeys. Some dodos may also have died of hunger as the explorers cleared the fruit-rich forests. The birds' trusting nature earned them the name "doudo" or "fool" in Portuguese. Scientists believe the dodo was extinct by the late 17th century. Today, the birds are often cited as the perfect example of human-caused extinction.

The science

The Colossal Biosciences researchers will begin by removing germ cells from the eggs of the Nicobar pigeon, the dodo's closest living relative. The genes will be edited to make them more dodo-like and implanted back into the eggs. The scientists will then incubate the eggs. If successful, the eggs will hatch and we will have our first dodo-like bird. The technique has previously been used to breed chickens. But whether it can revive an extinct species remains to be seen.

A dodo bird skeleton (Credit: Thomas Quine/ CC-BY-2.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

The challenges

Even if scientists can recreate a dodo-like animal, there will be other challenges. For example, how will the bird learn how to survive in the wild and where will it live? Many researchers also believe that instead of trying to bring back animals that are already extinct, the company should focus on saving those that are on the verge of extinction.

"There's so many things that desperately need our help. And money," Julian Hume, an avian paleontologist at London's Natural History Museum, told CNN. "Why would you even bother trying to save something long gone when there's so many things that are desperate right now?"



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  • omg-girl57
    omg-girl57about 1 month
    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THE BEST ONE OF ALL
    • ponygirl11
      ponygirl115 months
      • creeper2011
        creeper20115 months
        Although its not possible to bring dead things back to life our world would end if we brought back dinosaurs and other things that went extinct 6000 or more years ago
        • newstheroy
          newstheroy4 months
          Actually it might be possible if we were to enhance the cloning tech we could bring back the dodo it is in the pigeon family so if we use dodo DNA and pigeon DNA we could bring back dodos
        • crabs
          crabs6 months
          They probably wont have a big effect on the world if they were that peaceful
          • iceyqueen
            iceyqueen6 months
            I may not be a good idea because it could ruin the balance of the ecosystem.
            • iceyqueen
              • randynicholas
                the dodos were not delicious they went extinct because they had no fight or flight and had no predators for a long time so and they didn't look like they did they were made to fly but they evolved to eat as much food as they can but a pirate ship came and the released the animals they had on to the island the animals were rats, pigs, monkeys. they attacked the eggs and the dodos couldn't repopulate because they were out numbered and the last of them died off
                • halleywood
                  halleywood6 months
                  I think the dodo would be really cool. I am learning to clone stuff, so maybe I could help de extinct stuff.
                  • ailaalicorn
                    ailaalicorn6 months
                    Did you know that the Dodo was actually really delicious? Thats why they went extinct! People ate too many of them!
                  • drake121316