Now this is cool: Hunters Find A Frozen 10,000 Year Old Baby Woolly Rhino. Excerpt:
Admit it, the little fella is pretty cute for spending ten centuries frozen in the ice, getting chewed on by scavengers. In September, two hunters boating down a stream in Siberia noticed some wavy, auburn locks poking out of the permafrost—a dead reindeer, they thought. After realizing their mistake, they liberated the rhino’s body from the thawing soil and stored it through the worst of the winter. Last week, they delivered the body to the Sakha Republic Academy of Sciences.
Sasha is one of the few woolly rhinos yet discovered, and the only calf. Experts estimate she was just 18 months old when she died. Her discovery should help researchers better understand woolly rhinos’ living conditions, how they developed as they grew, and how they’re related to living rhino species.
The question is this: Will they be able to recover any DNA?
There has been a lot of discussion over the wisdom of possibly cloning a rhino or, say, a mammoth. Granted this would be different than cloning some animal that has been made extinct by human action, such as the passenger pigeon. The woolly mammoth and the woolly rhino were Ice Age animals that were not able to easily adapt to a warmer, deglaciated world.
I’d still like to see it done. Any resulting animals would by necessity be few in number and carefully confined; there is no change that there would be herds of mammoths or rhinos roaming Alaska or Siberia, and no mammoth hunting expeditions (pity, that.) So why not try?
We used to be a people that conceived of and accomplished great things. Why not this?