Most woolly mammoths died ~10k+ years ago, while a small group remained trapped on an island until ~3.7k years ago. Are they ready for a comeback?
To do it, they’d:
- Edit skin cells from Asian elephants with mammoth DNA taken from frozen specimens
- Gestate a lab-created egg in a surrogate elephant or artificial womb, a 22-month process
The end result would be a “cold-resistant elephant” that looks and behaves like a mammoth, Church said. If all goes well, Colossal hopes to welcome its 1st calves in 6 years.
Colossal has 2 primary goals
- Conserve Asian elephants — which are endangered — by helping them survive in the Arctic
- Protect the Arctic by introducing animals that will knock down trees and restore grasslands
Other scientists aren’t so hot on the idea, arguing that mammoths take a long time to mature (30 years) and that some Arctic regions need trees. Some also question our ability to care for the new species.
Fun fact: Funding was led by Thomas Tull, ex-CEO of Legendary Entertainment, the company that produced “Jurassic World.”