Scientists Closer To Bringing A Species Back From Extinction

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Caroline Reid

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clockJul 13 2015, 12:16 UTC
1073 Scientists Closer To Bringing A Species Back From Extinction
Screenshot from Catastrophic Science. The University of New South Wales.

The gastric brooding frog is famous for a few reasons that are less than glamorous. Firstly, its bizarre reproductive habits: the female swallows her eggs and grows them in her stomach. The little eggs hatch to tadpoles and become tiny frogs, all inside the stomach of their mother. When the time is right, the gastric brooding frog projectile vomits out its wriggling young. 

The second reason it's famous is that it's extinct. Scientists speculate that its extinction, which occurred back in the 80s, was due to a foreign pathogen, the chytrid fungus, that lived on the frog's skin. 


Some intrepid scientists are working hard to turn back the clocks, but bringing a species back from the dead isn't easy work. Researchers took the nuclei of a gastric brooding frog that had been frozen for 40 years, and implanted them into another frog species' deactivated eggs. The resulting embryos did live, but never for longer than a few days. 

The following video explains how scientists at the University of New South Wales are trying to recreate the species.



[Via The Guardian]

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