‘Lost Beasts Of The Ice Age’ Shows Us How Technology Could Bring Back The Woolly Mammoth

The Woolly Mammoth. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Top scientists from around the world went in search of evidence of how animals lived during the Ice Age. Luckily for you, you can watch their scientific adventures on the Science Channel in a two-hour special and see what they discovered on Lost Beasts Of The Ice Age, starting on February 24, 2018, at 8 pm EST.

Lost Beasts Of The Ice Age is part exploration and part scientific discovery. It looks at the possibility of using today’s technology and genetic science to learn more about these extinct species but also the possibility of bringing some of them, like the Woolly Mammoth, back to life.

In 2013, a team of scientists from Siberian Northeastern Federal University found mammoth tusks protruding from the permafrost in Northern Siberia on the island of Maly Lyakhovsky. The tusks were on a mammoth that was almost completely preserved under the permafrost. It still had three legs, most of its body and part of its head and trunk. The body still contained blood. After carbon dating, they determined the mammoth lived more than 40,000 years ago and was eaten by wolves after it was stuck in a peat bog.

Lost Beasts Of The Ice Age follows a team of international scientists on an expedition searching for the well-preserved remains of woolly mammoths, woolly rhino, wolves and cave lions which once roamed Siberia. The scientists believe that their findings could reveal new evidence that could answer the question of what caused the woolly mammoth to go extinct.

“The quest to understand the extinction of so many large animals at the end of the last ice age – and whether humans, or climate change, or both, were responsible – has never felt so important in a world where wildlife is under increasing threat,” said Dr. Tori Herridge, Paleontologist, Natural History Museum, London.

In addition to Herridge, the team of rock-star scientists includes Professor George Church, Geneticist, Harvard Medical School and Dr. Love Dalen of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Together this team discovered DNA that was in excellent condition which has the potential to speed up a cloning process. They also found a 30,000-year-old wolf from an extinct breed of ice age wolves.

“Pre-history and the Ice Age have been a core part of the Discovery legacy dating back to Raising The Mammoth in 2000 and with this special we continue to be the leader in focusing on these big questions of our past,” said Marc Etkind, General Manager, Science Channel.

Church says he hopes to use genetic engineering to bring mammoths back to Siberia. “The project really feels like it’s leaping forward. We didn’t expect so many high-quality specimens.  It’s just very exciting,” added Church.

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