Have we learned NOTHING from Jurassic Park? Bring back the mammoth?

Give me a good dinosaur movie, caveman movie, or prehistoric time travel show any day and I’m in. I loved the Jurassic Park series. But I have to ask – haven’t we learned the dangers of messing with mother nature from these movies? Don’t we think bringing back extinct species is a dubious proposition? But someone is really talking about it and raising serious funds to do it too!

Wenas Mammoth

We have a connection to the caveman era here in Yakima Valley. It’s the Wenas Mammoth digging in front of Selah. The Yakima Herald-Republic wrote it a few years ago. While an elephant-like creature may seem extremely out of place in present-day Yakima, they were actually quite common in the area. The Columbian mammoth first appeared in North America 1 million years ago, and its range is thought to extend from Canada to Central America.”

These large, furry companions died out around 10,000 years ago, but still managed to become the state’s “official fossil,” as finding mammoth remains isn’t too uncommon. In fact, the bones and dig site found after Selah have been studied by Central Washington University (CWU) and are the subject of a traveling educational exhibit.

CWU on stage

“According to the CWU website, The Wenas Creek Mammoth Project is a Central Washington University (CWU) scientific investigation of mammoth bones found on private land in the Wenas Creek Valley near Selah, Utah. Washington. The investigation is interdisciplinary, using methods from paleontology, archeology, and geography. The goal of the project is the careful scientific recovery of the bones and all associated material, while placing the finds in context. appropriate geological..”

For more information on the mammoth, visit www.wenasmammoth.com/index.html.

So while educators and scientists are taking their time digging and investigating the Wenas mammoth, another group of scientists actually want to bring one back to Jurassic Park!

Back from extinction!

A new bioscience and genetics company, Colossal, has raised $15 million to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction. This mammoth model is on display in France and the idea is not to create an amusement park full of mammoths but to create enough beasts to release into the wild to help restore the arctic tundra grasslands!

The UK Guardian reports“The scientists’ initial goal is to create an elephant-mammoth hybrid by making embryos carrying mammoth DNA in the laboratory. The starting point of the project is to take skin cells from endangered Asian elephants. , and reprogram them into more versatile stem cells that carry mammoth DNA. of animals recovered from the permafrost with those of related Asian elephants.The embryos would then be carried to term in a surrogate mother or potentially in an artificial womb.If all goes as planned – and the hurdles are far from trivial – researchers hope to have their first set of calves in six years.”

We’ll keep our eyes on that in the future. It’s too weird an idea not to!

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Darcy J. Skinner