Ah, “Jurassic Park”: home of tyrannosaurs, brontosauruses, velociraptors, Newman from “Seinfeld,” a weird Unix computer with a 3D file system, and plot holes the size of … well, Newman from “Seinfeld.” It’s still one of my favorite childhood movies, but surely it can’t be replicated in real life — right?
Not so fast, says a father-and-son team from Siberia. No, they can’t clone dinosaurs, but they plan on bringing back another extinct animal from long ago: the woolly mammoth.
According to The U.K. Sun, Sergey and Nikita Zimonv have been trying to get their “Pleistocene Park” off the ground, providing a home for the extinct woolly mammoth in its former steppe ecosystem.
As The U.K. Telegraph pointed out, the exact premise behind “Jurassic Park” — extracting dinosaur DNA from mosquitoes that had been encased in amber — is pretty much impossible. Dinosaurs were last on this planet 65 million years ago, and DNA degrades beyond usefulness after 6.8 million years, scientists say.
Woolly mammoths, however, are a different story. While we certainly haven’t seen them around recently, they have been relatively recent inhabitants of the planet. The species died out about 10,000 years ago — recently enough that scientists have been able to sequence their genome.
The Zimonvs were pushing the story that the woolly mammoth can stop “global climate change” — for relatively specious reasons.
“Re-wilding this vast area of the Arctic will not only create a northern Serengeti, but most importantly, today, is a vital tool to mitigate global climate change,” Nikita Zimonv said on their Kickstarter page.
“As climate warms, permafrost here in the Arctic is starting to melt. It will soon unlock huge carbon stocks and trigger a catastrophic global warming feedback loop. Natural grasslands, maintained by numerous grazing animals, have the capacity to both slow climate warming and prevent permafrost from melting.”
The Zimonvs say that since snow is an insulator, the woolly mammoth can help by trampling down the snow to graze for grass in the winter, stopping the Siberian steppe from releasing carbon stores if the permafrost reaches above freezing.
Whether you think global warming is real or just a giant liberal hoax, reintroducing the woolly mammoth is one of the more peculiar ways of dealing with it that we’ve heard. And that’s assuming that someone can clone the woolly mammoth in the first place.
All Nikita would say is that “By the time mammoths will be cloned, if they’re cloned and brought to the park, we will have a system.”
However, the duo have raised $63,000 on their Kickstarter page, and there’s no denying the idea of seeing a woolly mammoth would be cool.
So, who knows? It may not be “Jurassic Park,” but we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing “Pleistocene Park” become a reality.
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