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Re: Theories on the extinction of dinosaurs



Fredericus Ruhe wrote:

>When there is only one specimen of a species left, technically the species
is already extinct!>


Except for asexually reproducing organisms, of course.  But in a Jurassic
Park-ish kind of way, the concept of extinction is debatable even for a
vertebrate taxa with a current population of zero living members.  For
example, if ongoing efforts to clone the *extinct* wholly mammoth are
successful, will _M. primogenus_ be considered to have >recovered< from
extinction---or will the resultant animal(s) be considered a new species
entirely? I'd opt for the latter view, since cloning techniques insert only
the donor's chromosomal DNA into the host's enucleated egg, leaving the
host's mitochondrial DNA in play.  In that sense a clone is a two-species
hybrid of sorts, not an exact copy of the original.

Pat