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De-Extinction: Return of the Woolly Mammoth?

If we had the scientific capability to bring back extinct species should we do it?

If we had the scientific capability to bring back extinct species should we do it? Which ones would we choose and why? How about woolly mammoths roaming across the Arctic tundra, or vast flocks of passenger pigeons – once the most numerous birds on earth – back in our skies again? Scientists believe they are on the threshold of the technologies that could make all this possible. But could the power to bring animals back make us more complacent about their extinction? And what might the consequences be for the habitats into which they’re introduced? On this week’s Newshour Extra Owen Bennett Jones and his guests take a step back from the global news agenda to consider one of the great challenges facing biological and environmental scientists today.

(Photo: artist's impression of a woolly mammoth. Credit: Thinkstock)

Available now

50 minutes

Last on

Sat 4 Mar 2017 04:06GMT


Helen Pilcher - author of 'Bring Back the King: the new science of de-extinction'

Carl Zimmer - columnist for The New York Times and often writes for National Geographic, where he wrote the first feature about de-extinction

Richard Grenyer - Associate Professor in Biodiversity and Biogeography at Oxford University

Ben Novak - scientist working with Revive and Restore a charity promoting de-extinction

also taking part Alberto Fernandez-Arias who led the team that briefly brought a Spanish ibex or bucardo back to life


  • Fri 3 Mar 2017 09:06GMT
  • Fri 3 Mar 2017 12:06GMT
  • Fri 3 Mar 2017 23:06GMT
  • Sat 4 Mar 2017 04:06GMT

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