Research an animal that has gone extinct and provide a valid reason why you would want to bring this animal back. 

1. Give both the scientific name and common name of the animal. 

2. Provide a little background information on the animal, such as where the animal lived. 

3. How long roughly has the animal been extinct? 

4. Why did the animal go extinct? 

5. Why would you want to bring this animal back? 

6. How would we go about bringing this animal back?

Expert Answers

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What a great assignment! As an animal lover, I actually think about this a good bit. There are so many options, and overlooking some of the more obvious ones, I think I'd choose the Great Auk. I have always been fond of birds and especially penguins, so this amazing bird would be fun to learn more about.

Its scientific name is Pinguinus Impennis, and it hasn't been extinct all that long. Different sources provide slightly different dates for the last known survivors, but generally the Great Auk is believed to have disappeared around the mid-1800s.

Great Auks generally lived off rocky island coasts in the North Atlantic (think about the areas around Iceland or Newfoundland). The birds looked a lot like penguins, standing upright on land and having a black back and head and white belly. They used their wings for swimming but were flightless, leaving them pretty much defenseless against predators, including man. And that's how they met extinction.

Hunters saw the birds as easy prey and began capturing massive numbers of them for bait, food, and pillow-making feathers. I'd love to bring the Great Auk back because it was a peaceful and beautiful creature and unfortunately suffered a tragic end due to the greed and violence of mankind. The species didn't go extinct because of an imbalance in the ecosystem—only because mankind chose a beautiful but weak bird to annihilate.

There are around 80 specimens remaining in museums, so one way to bring back this type of animal would be to gather some of that DNA and then attempt to clone a male and female from existing DNA.

There are so many extinct animals you could consider. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Quagga
  • Japanese Honshu Wolf
  • Woolly Mammoth
  • Tasmanian Tiger
  • Moa
  • Irish Elk
  • Smilodon

I hope you enjoy researching more about the animals which no longer exist on our planet so that we can better understand how to protect our current species. Good luck!

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