'Jurassic Park prize' for bringing back extinct species

Giant wooly mammoth Could extinct woolly mammoths be brought back to life?

A 'Jurassic Park prize' is to be offered to the first scientific team to bring an extinct species, whether a mammoth or a pigeon, back to life.

The award's being promoted by the X Prize Foundation, who organised a space race in 2004 for the first private space plane.

They say: "We are living during one of the highest rates of species extinction in the history of this planet."

It's hoped they'll find a way to bring back extinct species to the world.

What does extinction mean?

  • Extinction is when there are no more animals of a species alive anywhere in the world.
  • Some animals have been extinct for a long time, such as dinosaurs and the dodo.
  • More recently extinct animals include the passenger pigeon and the golden toad.

Steven Spielberg, who directed the Jurassic Park films about cloning dinosaurs, will be asked to support the prize.

"He is fascinated by this stuff," said a person who knows him.

At least three Asian teams are already seeking DNA from a mammoth frozen in Russia 4,500 years ago, to mix with the genes of its closest modern relative, the Indian elephant.

More on This Story

  • Newsround logoWatch Newsround

    Watch the latest update from Newsround, CBBC's news programme for children.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.