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Re: CNN: Cloning of extinct Huia bird approved
> In his acceptance speech, Mike talked about cloning the extinct (since the
> 1930s) Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger). The Oz Museum has a young TT cub
> (pup?) preserved in ethyl alcohol, and there are about six other specimens
> similarly preserved around the world. Seems that ethyl alcohol, unlike
> formalin, preserves DNA and Mike has received a lot of scientific (and
> commercial monetary) support for the project and he is confident that it
> is possible and likely that within the next few years we will see
> thylacines again.
Although officially the last thylacine died in Hobart Zoo in 1936, there is
an increasing amount of evidence to suggest that the animal is not actually
extinct (or at least that it was still alive long after the 1930s). Hundreds
of people every year report seeing the thylacine in the Tasmanian outback
(and also in mainland Australia, where the animal also lived before the
arrival of dingoes), and sheep have been found with injuries attributable
only to a thylacine attack.
Wouldn't it be embarrassing to waste time and money cloning an extinct
animal and then discover that it was never extinct in the first place? So
how certain are they that the Huia bird is really extinct? Several other
bizarre New Zealand birds have disappeared and then been rediscovered - it
could happen again!