Great Auk revival plan

It’s early days yet, but an American research institute is planning to go Jurassic Park on the Great Auk. Revive and Restore wish to attempt a 'genetic rescue' on the extinct species, by extracting DNA from preserved Great Auk specimens and splicing it into the DNA of its closest living relative, the Razorbill.

Scientists are still divided as to whether or not this will be possible, due to the difficulties in recovering enough genetic material, and if it is possible, whether the result will be a true Great Auk, a hybrid, or something different, sparking arguments as to what constitutes a species.

There are environmental concerns too, regarding not just the wisdom of resurrecting extinct species, but as to whether the resources used would be better spent on keeping endangered species from becoming extinct in the first place.

If Revive and Restore do pull it off, though, we may once more be able to see “Britain’s Penguin” swimming in our seas once more.