Woolly Mammoths.. Should we bring them back?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Bells, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    For reference (i.e. anyone else Googling for a new term), it is forbs, or phorbs, not forbes.

    (I've ever heard of forbs before)
     
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  3. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    oops
    forbs
    thanx
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Wolves (Canis lupus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) interbreed quite successfully. After our shit-for-brains government ran the wolves out of Yellowstone and the nearby recreational areas, they went in the only direction that was open to them: north. Once in Canada, they began moving east, where they discovered a thriving population of coyotes. They've been hybridizing for many generations, and the result is a population of canines that have the coyotes' cleverness and lack of fear of humans, but much larger than the average coyote.

    When they start coming back down into the USA (with the additional IQ points from their coyote ancestors), we who live in the northeast (I'm in Maryland, for example) will have to take precautions we never expected to need.

    On the plus side, these new immigrants will give us a lot of help with our deer problem.

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  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Here, in east central Iowa we have a different deer problem. I had 3 tags this year and only took 2 shots( got a doe and a 10 pt.buck). The january antlerless season was canceled.
    They are trying to rebuild the herd.
    Blue tongue hit the northwest Iowa counties especially hard and the only hunting allowed was for bucks.
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Right. Point made.

    I have actually met a coywolf, in broad daylight, not 30 yards from me. And I live in suburbian megalopolis.
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The eradication of predators, in general, does not improve the health or size of a herd. When the wolves were driven out of Yellowstone, the elk multiplied rapidly. There were so many that they ate all the edible plants down to their roots, then swam into the rivers and lakes and began eating the aquatic foliage.

    Elk were dying of starvation all over the region.
     
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  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Most feral canines are fairly intelligent and quasi-domesticated. They understand that as long as they don't attack people, we'll be too lazy to do anything about them. The same is true about attacking our dogs. They take a few cats, but not too many because they can climb.

    In any city that has raccoons (and by now that might be 90% of them), the smaller domestic animals have already learned whom to run from.
     
  12. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    They're herbivores - unlikely to resemble humans in taste or texture. A long-lived omnivore - bear, swine - would be first guess.
     
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It was private ranchers who got the wolves removed from most of their former range, and they didn't go anywhere - they were killed. Grey Wolf range already included the entire eastern half of the US from Hudson Bay to Florida (some subspecies involved, and possibly even a native dog in the southeast), and the hybridizing among canids in the Eastern woodlands was probably due to shortage of local wolves (killed off) rather than immigration.

    The takeover by coyotes was also, probably, an effect of the killing of the wolves (and the new complexity of the environment).

    Just as the Holocene (research indicated and documented) takeover and dominance of the Grey Wolves in North America, in the first place, may have been due to the removal of the Dire Wolves and big cats from the continent, coincident with and possibly at least partially caused by the arrival of effective land hunting humans.
     
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Don't worry, this is a bunch of hype, it's not going to happen any time soon.
     
  16. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Gee darn.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Huh? What are you talking about?

    You can be sure that, right now, some enthusiastic paleontologist is studying the DNA of a well-preserved mammoth. If it seems compatible with elephant DNA, the next step is obvious.
     
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  18. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    I wrote a Patent Disclosure (since expired) for bringing back the mammoth. Filed it in 1979. Still not happened yet.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, there's just that niggling little detail of the biological engineering to get it to actually work.
     
  20. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Step 1. Study Mammoth DNA.
    Step 2. ?
    Step 3. Open Mammoth Zoo
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well spoken.

    By analogy, in my industry, a software product is a blockbuster success the moment the VP adjourns the kickoff meeting. There is only "the small matter of programming" remaining.
     
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  22. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    That makes sense. Quite honestly, I do recall where I read it - on a "Ripley's believe it or not poster" hung above my bead circa 1972 - probably not the best resource. Supposedly, the observation was based on reports by cannibals that had tried both. Since they are probably all dead by now I guess we will never know.
     
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Since my earlier post, I have learned that Mammoth DNA has been sequenced. That's an impressive achievement.

    One theoretical possibility would be cloning a Mammoth by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. That's how animals (remember Dolly?) are cloned today. The nucleus of an egg cell is removed, the nucleus of a body cell of the animal to be duplicated is removed and inserted into the egg cell, which is induced into multiplying as if it was a fertilized egg.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_cell_nuclear_transfer

    The difficulty with this idea is that no Mammoth cells have been discovered with intact DNA in their nuclei. (DNA rapidly fragments after death.) The search continues though.

    The other possibility is to splice individual Mammoth genes and even longer strands of Mammoth DNA (synthesized from data obtained through the sequencing in Step 1) into Elephant egg cell genomes. This wouldn't result in a resurrected Mammoth, it would result in an Elephant genetically engineered to possess some of the characteristics of Mammoths (such as the long hair).

    https://pgl.soe.ucsc.edu/Shapiro-2016-Functional_Ecology.pdf

    Or some kind of wildlife park where they live in as close to an original Mammoth habitat as possible today.
     

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