Woolly mammoths: Plans to bring them back from extinction in Russia


Image copyright NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO

There are plans for scientists in Russia to attempt to bring woolly mammoths back from extinction.

It might all sound a bit like Jurassic Park but it's a serious project.

Experiments will involve searching for and studying whole cells in the remains of well-preserved ancient animals, such as mammoths, to see if it is possible to clone them after they've become extinct.

The research will take place in the territory of Yakutia which is officially called the Sakha Republic, a part of the Russian Federation.

It is an incredibly large area with almost half of it lying within the Arctic Circle.

The freezing temperatures there mean a number of ancient animals have been found pretty well preserved in permafrost.

Permafrost is a thick subsurface layer of soil that remains below freezing point throughout the year.

This isn't the first time we've heard about plans to bring woolly mammoths back from extinction.

Woolly mammoths roamed the Earth during the Ice Age and would even have been found in the UK.

It's not clear why the animals died out around 10,000 years ago but it might have been due to changes in the climate.

Image copyright STEFAN SCHIESSL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

What do you think? Are there any other extinct animals that you would like to meet?