Brain Game: If you could bring an extinct animal back to life, which would you choose, and why? (Round 2)

  • The writing competition starts with 10 contestants, who are eliminated one at a time based on a combination of your votes and YP editors’ picks – who will you choose?
  • This week, contestants share which creatures they would like to bring back to life, from a fish known as the ‘panda of Yangtze’ to the largest dinosaur on Earth
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Woolly mammoths roamed the Earth until about 10,000 years ago. Illustration: Shutterstock

Read through the responses to this week’s Brain Game prompt, and choose which answer you like most. Based on a combination of your votes and YP editors’ picks, we will eliminate one contestant from the competition.

Contestant 1

Chinese paddlefish. It was one of the largest freshwater fish (it could reach up to seven metres in length) and lived for more than 200 million years in the Yangtze River. It has vanished mainly because of overfishing and dam construction. China considers it a national treasure, calling it “the panda of the Yangtze”. If the Chinese paddlefish comes back to life, then China would have two types of “pandas”!

Contestant 2

Ankylosaurus is a plant-eating dinosaur with spikes on its head and side and a back covered with armoured plates. In the animated action-adventure series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, an ankylosaurus named Bumpy develops a bond with Ben, a teenager, and they embark on an unforgettable adventure. I long for such a loyal buddy for my own adventures. If I could bring an ankylosaurus back to life, I would name it “Granda”, and we would journey through the Amazon jungle.

The ankylosaurus is a dinosaur with thick, bony plates of armour all over – even over its eyes. Illustration: Shutterstock

Contestant 3

Woolly mammoths, which share an ancestor with the modern elephant, went extinct about 10,000 years ago during the last ice age. But a company, Colossal, is trying to create a new animal similar to the woolly mammoth by 2027 through gene-editing technology. It would modify the genes of an Asian elephant so it would be able to withstand the ice-cold temperatures of Pleistocene Park in the Arctic. Scientists at Colossal say this animal will be able to help mitigate climate change by slowing down carbon emissions in the Arctic.

Contestant 4

I would choose dinosaurs, the dominant creature on Earth during the Mesozoic era (252 to 66 million years ago). First, I would place dinosaurs in a private area, well away from humans. Then, I would breed more dinosaurs to prevent them from becoming extinct again. After receiving training on how to get along with other species, the public can visit the dinosaurs and become friends with them.

Dinosaur embryo found curled up and ready to hatch like a bird

Contestant 5

Titanosaurs, the largest dinosaur that ever lived. It roamed the Earth about 100 million years ago; it was about 26 metres long and weighed about 70 tonnes. The titanosaurs were herbivorous, meaning they ate leaves and branches from tall trees. This means they did not have to hunt for their food. I think it would be fun to have such a massive animal living among us again. And the best part about this particular animal is that people would not have to worry about being eaten!

Contestant 6

The dodo. The large, flightless bird lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. They were hunted by humans, and in 1681, the last bird was killed and they became extinct. If we bring the dodo back, we can do justice to the birds and undo our errors. Most importantly, we’ll be sending an important message to the world that is battling problems such as global warming caused by human greed – respect all lives!

The dodo is an extinct bird that cannot fly. Illustration: Shutterstock

Contestant 7

The Tasmanian tiger, which was declared extinct in 1936. This was caused by excessive hunting, habitat destruction and disease among other factors. In the early 1900s, Australian farmers said the animal was killing their sheep, so they hunted them out of existence. Scientists are hoping to bring the “tiger” back to life. I hope they succeed.

Contestant 8

I would like to bring the Newfoundland wolf back to life. They were hunted by people because they killed livestock. Reports say they have been extinct for about 100 years. The “snow-white wolves” were very loyal to their families. They hunted in packs, and if a partner died, the wolf would not find a mate to form a new family. It’s a shame that they are no longer here.

Contestant 9

The golden toad. They have been extinct for more than 30 years. I have seen frogs of many colours but never a golden frog. I thought such animals would only appear in fairy tales. Some scientists blame climate change for their disappearance while others say a fungus was responsible. I would like to bring them back to life to figure out what actually killed them off.

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