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Re: Quaternary Park?



At 02:39 PM 08/07/98 -0700, you wrote:
>There's one point I haven't seen brought up yet in this debate --
>How can an animal like the mammoth, that evolved to live in an
>ice age climate, be expected to survive in a modern climate?

May I point out that WE evolved in an ice age climate?  Or, to stick to truly
arctic forms, so did the musk ox, which survives quite well, thank you.
There
is probably a vast amount of mammoth habitat in, say, the Siberian taiga; that
there are no mammoths there may be our fault, of course.

But before we get too excited, remember that no one has, to my knowledge,
grown
a LIVING species of animal from a DNA sample alone!  So I wouldn't expect to
see mammoths at your local zoo too soon - much less cloned Spix's Macaws or
other rarities.  The best way to get more Spix's is to breed the remaining
birds (ie, the old-fashioned way).

And as far as recreating wild populations - even if you could bring back
mammoths in the flesh you could not resurrect their social behaviour.  The
breeding success of African elephants in American zoos is nil, probably
because
most are orphans of culling operations removed from their social groups at
less
than one year of age; Asian elephants (actually the rarer species) do far
better, probably because they are (if wild-caught) work animals that stay with
their wild family groups until they are ten years old or more.  I would
expect,
therefore, that producing a freely-breeding herd of mammoths would be
difficult
to say the least.


--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net