Can scientist bring back the dodo?

A “de-extinction Company” plans to genetically engineer the extinct Mauritian bird

A “de-extinction company” working to bring back woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) and Tasmanian tigers (Thylacinus cynocephalus) has now added the dodo to its list of recruits. The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) went extinct in the 17th century when the first recorded humans arriving on its home island of Mauritius—along with the monkeys and rats they brought with them—killed the birds and preyed on their eggs. Beth Shapiro, lead paleogeneticist and a scientific advisory board member at the “De-extinction Company” Colossal Biosciences, announced in 2022 that the team had reconstructed the bird’s genome. The team still needs to find a suitable surrogate species to implant with genetically engineered dodo DNA, and is also faced with a number of other challenges to bringing the species back.

Read more at Scientific American.

Header Image: The dodo went extinct in the 17th century after Portuguese sailors arrived on Mauritius. Credit: Hutchinson & Co. 1907/Biodiversity Heritage Library