Scientists Look to Clone Extinct 500,000 Year Old Lion Cub
Trying to revive an extinct species by cloning? Hmmm, I don’t believe they have seen the Jurassic Park movies..
via The Daily Star UK
The lion was found frozen in ice in Siberia, Russia.
It survived almost intact for tens of thousands of years, and its fur and facial features are clearly visible.
It was found with its face resting on its paw.
The cub is believed to have been between one and two months old when it died, but experts haven’t yet found out how it died.
The body was spotted on the bank of a river by villager Boris Berezhnov in the Abyisky district of Yakutia.
Boris told The Siberian Times that he saw an “unrecognisable animal” in September after the river level dropped.
The discovery has raised hopes that extinct animals could be brought back to life through cloning.
Expert Dr Albert Protopopov added that the body was almost perfectly preserved.
“All the limbs have survived,” he said. “There are no traces of external injuries on the skin.”
Protopopov went on to say that the condition of the cub is so good that scientists could be able to clone it.
The body is about 45cm long, and experiments are being carried out to determine how old it is.
It’s believed that the lion was frozen in ice for 20 – 50,000 years.
Tests on the cub’s teeth are expected to tell us more about the lion.
The possibility of cloning an extinct animal is similar to the plot of Jurassic Park, when dinosaurs were brought back to life through DNA from mosquitos preserved in amber.
Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Jeff Goldblum was one of the most succesful films of the 1990s, going on bank almost $1.03 billion (£783 million) and spawning two sequels and a theme park ride.