Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 04:51 pm
They are about to try cloning a Mammoth. If they succeed what should they do with it? If they can clone/breed a bunch of them should they be released into the wild (a cold climate similar to where their ancestors roamed)?

Any area that can still support a Musk Ox can probably support a few Mammoths, right?

What other animals would be good to clone?

 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 06:53 pm
@rosborne979,
where the hell we gonna keep em.?
Im still not convinced that we oughta have mooses.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 07:25 pm
The muskox survives on the tundra. The wooly mammoth survived on the heavy grass lands of the periglacial steppes. I doubt that any place you could find, even if the climate were cold enough, would have the forage to support mammoths.
Telamon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 07:33 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

The muskox survives on the tundra. The wooly mammoth survived on the heavy grass lands of the periglacial steppes. I doubt that any place you could find, even if the climate were cold enough, would have the forage to support mammoths.


What they said ^
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 07:39 pm
@Setanta,
mammoths had about 5 species and they were all over. The IMperial; and Columbian were unique to boreal forests and the Appalachians as well as the west US.

Mini mammuts were seen in the Sakheilen and Kamchatka areas as well as in areas of islands that were initially isolated as waters rose (like Catalina Island).

In N Pa we have many examples of short mastodons that were living around periglacial swamp areas that define the Pocono mtn highlands and the LAurel Highlands.

They are always finding woollies , mastodons, and Columbian Mammoths along the entire periglacial and loess belt that extends from upper NJ all the way out to the DAkotas and Montana.
Early paleo Indians used to drive Columbian Mammoths over rises in the west. There is an area called "Head Smashed IN" in S Canada , where thousands of bison and several dozens of mammoth skeletons were found as the early Amerinds would chase game over the cliffs and then dress the met on the spot.

rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 08:39 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
The muskox survives on the tundra. The wooly mammoth survived on the heavy grass lands of the periglacial steppes. I doubt that any place you could find, even if the climate were cold enough, would have the forage to support mammoths.

Interesting. I wasn't quite clear on what their habitat was like.

Is there no place left on Earth that might suffice as habitat for cloned mammoths?

I also wonder what would happen if we cloned something and reintroduced them and they became successful and reproduced enough to become commonplace (like wild turkeys around New Hampshire).

Perhaps flocks of Dodo's might one day swarm over some unsuspecting plot of land.

Or conversely, it is simply impossible to reintroduce any species because it's habitat becomes "extinct" just as it does. For example, the giant condors of the Southwest and California used to subsist on carrion left over from predatory activities on the great plains (big cats and dire wolves and such). But so much of that habitat is now gone (not only the predators but the prey) that the largest of the condors could no longer survive even if we brought them back. The world has changed too much for them.

If an animal is removed from the evolutionary cycle by virtue of extinction, is it ever really possible to reintroduce it once its habitat has evolved beyond it?
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 08:46 pm
@farmerman,
There were giant beaver in the North East US not too long ago. Seems like some of these types of animals (megafauna) might still find livable habitat as long as humans didn't hunt them. Surely there are remote areas of Canada and the Northern US that might still support giant beaver if they were left to their own devices.... right? Or does the modern habitat contain some unidentified "missing ingredient" that species like that needed?

I don't know what I'm really getting at here. I'm just speculating on possibilities (or impossibilities) with an eye toward getting a better vision of what their worlds were like, and how they compare to things now.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 09:13 pm
@rosborne979,
well, the various of the beaver clan would at least be found near waters. Mammut and MAstodon were found all over , even in the rain forests of SE Asia. There was a thing about a newly discovered elephant that appeared to be a living Imperial mammoth and it was from Cambodia. I dont know if anything ever was published or whether it was just TV talk.
I think that there wouldnt be a big problem for newly cloned mammoths to adapt, because there is evidence that mnany of their species were both grazers and browsers, but having said that, I dont understand WHY this becomes something wed actua;lly want to do. Japan isnt exactly loaded with wild open space. Maybe they could keep the mammoths up in the northern islands like Hokkaido.
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 09:23 pm
Unlike the dodo bird, mammoths went extinct for a reason of which we are unaware. Time after time we have faced serious consequences simply moving the animals we have around.
Just because we can, is no reason to even consider cloning something extinct, assuming we could.
Sure, it's an entertaining idea, but can you imagine mammoths wandering into some suburban neighborhood like a moose does?
Our government spends a great deal of money dealing with the so-called wild horse population in the U.S. ( something the spanish undoubtably never considered).
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 09:26 pm
@wayne,
I could use an unending supply of Mammut poop for my garden compost pile.
I can take one or two mammoths if noone else wante=s em. I will name them Fred and EThel, and I will feed them and love them and allow them to live undisturbed on my little spread.
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 09:37 pm
@farmerman,
If you dry it out good, you could power your truck withit.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 09:44 pm
@wayne,
I dont have a boiler, I have liquid fueled engines on the trucks.
wayne
 
  2  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 10:29 pm
@farmerman,
That's too bad. I hear Ethel poop is high octane.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2011 10:32 pm
It's late so I haven't read through the thread. But, I'll be back. Cloned mammoths will something to be followed, for sure, no matter the outcome.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 04:16 am
@rosborne979,
With wooly mammoths and a few other species of megafauna, they survived on the grasslands of the periglacial steppes. The tundra is not nearly as soil rich as those steppes were (the advance and retreat of glaciation scrapes "shield" rock clean of its top cover). Those steppes produced vast grasslands because forests could not survive the climactic conditions, other than in gallery forests along sheltered river valleys. Much of the land which was periglacial steppe during the periods of glaciation was forested after the retreat of the glaciation. We don't know if the megafauna died off due to radical change in the environments, or due to predation. I suspect it was some of both. If your survival conditions have become marginal, the impetus of predation may push you over the edge. What we do know are at least two things--the huge grasslands of the periglacial steppes disappeared, and the megafauna disappeared not long afterward. What we don't know to a certainty is what role predation (human and otherwise) might have played.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 04:23 am
@rosborne979,
The dodo and the solitaire of Rodriguez Island both arose in isolated environments free of predators. There is no reason that they could not survive today if they could be "cloned," but they'd have to have artificially sustained environments. The dodo and the solitaire both disappeared with the arrival of humans and their dogs.

New Zealand is an example of this in macrocosm. Before the arrival of man (circa 13th century? one would have to look it up), New Zealand was a set of ecosystems dominated by bird species, including the largest ever known. The only mammals present were bats, and i believe they were insectivores and fructivores. Otherwise, the only predators were raptors, other birds. The moa, in about a half-dozen genera and about a dozen species seem to have disappeared within a century of the arrival of humans. I believe i am correct in saying moa were the largest birds ever to walk the earth--they may have run to 10 or 12 feet in height, and 500 or 600 pounnds. Many smaller bird species disappeared due to the dogs which accompanied humans. With no rats or other predatory mammalian species, the birds just hadn't evolved to cope with predation. Rats may have finished them off, though, without human intervention--going after the eggs. I couldn't say for certain.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 06:30 am
@Setanta,
Id like to see the return of the several species and subspecies of bison. Like mammoths , there were many species of bison that were boreal browsers to plains grazers and even several species in the Asiatic foreland (steppe buison, Long horn bison 'boreal" etc) It would be nice to reinsert some genetic variability into the genus and link ll the species together on a map so that these megafauna could be part of our present worldwide biological zones.

Also, Id like to see passenger pigeons and the large flightless ducks, theMoa nalo of the Pacific islands. Some of these were reportedly large goose -like birds that were divers and lived mostly on water but came to land to lay eggs and raise their young. large ratites like the Moa or Aepyornis maximus of New Zealand and MAdagascar were hunted to extinction in less than 10 human generations. Itd be neat to have them back , and this time we would try to keep em from being barbecued .

Very large carnivores like sabre toothed cats, dire wolves or short faced bears, Im not sure we should try unless we have several large habitats set aside.

Irish ELk would be dead on arrival IMHO. These things would be getting their antlers stuck in snow fencing and barbed wire. The thickets and hedgerow of present day Western Europe would just be difficult for these things to traverse. Wed have to saw their antkers off for a few generations until the elks got a sense of how big their racks are.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 06:35 am
@farmerman,
I think many of the megafauna were too specialized for the periglacial environment. Wooly rhinos and giant bison, along with wooly mammoths not only lost their food sources, but were evolved to survive an environment which no longer existed. I think they probably couldn't survie the competition with smaller grazing species. By the same token, the short faced bear probably couldn't effectively compete for resources with brown and black bears. I suspect that the same thing happened to large cats--sabre tooth and cave lion--they could no longer compete with the smaller cats. Hard to say, of course.

Just about any of these species could probably survive with sufficient human intervention. I doubt, though, that they could survive unaided in existing ecosystems.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 06:45 am
@Setanta,
well, Im sure , if given enough time and coffee, we could solve it.
Since mammoths came down to just three species when they disappeared, all the other mammut species and subspecies were slowly disappearing during the mid to late pleistocene.
I suppose it could be ascribed to habitat degredation by ice advance or retreat affecting the surrounds. This was always a point of "diversionary" discussion by E O Wilson who championed the return of several pleistocene species if it ever became possible.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 06:49 am
Probably not in our lifetimes. The human population will have to acheive negative population growth. As things stand right now, we're reaching the carrying capacity of arable land. I don't think there'd be much impetus to set aside land for special habitats to support what would essentially be a movement of species nostalgia.

I'm glad, in a way. I would not want to live in the time when food resources had become so critical that human carnivores had become endangered. Think i'll go cook a burger and some scrambled eggses . . .
 

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