If you could bring one extinct species back to life, what would it be?

If you could bring one extinct species back to life, what would it be?

Every Wednesday we ask our Brain Game contestants one interesting, thought-provoking or just plain quirky question. Their answers will be published anonymously in Young Post. Then readers can vote for their FAVOURITE answer. We will eliminate the contestant with the LEAST votes every week until we have a winner.

The ultimate Brain Game winner will receive a pair of Beats Studio Over Ear Headphones worth HK$2,598.

The contestants

Contestant 1

The dodo bird! Little is known about this extinct species, which makes these cute (we think) yet dumb (we think) birds so interesting. Estimated to be around one metre tall, the dodo bird was larger than most people think. It is thought to have been pretty heavy for a bird, weighing around 21kg.

The dodo was flightless. (I know, adorable, right?) And because of this, the little guys couldn't fly to any other islands and spread out. So they became very isolated, living mostly on the island of Mauritius and some on the island of Madagascar. Sad, huh. Oh, and did you know that dodos are related to pigeons?

Also, the dodos - who lived more than 4,000 years ago - probably died because, first, they were an easy meal for humans as they weren't afraid of us. The dodos that did survive couldn't figure out why they should stay away from humans (now you understand why they're thought to have been dumb). And, second, their habitats and eggs were destroyed by the animals humans brought to the island - the dodos didn't have any natural predators.

Contestant 2

There is a giant prehistoric dragonfly called Meganeura monyi, with a wingspan of more than one metre. If we brought them back, it would be the closest thing to riding dragons we'd have - only if they were willing to carry human beings of course! Imagine what it would be like if I could ride to school every day on it, and then play with it like a pet!

But because these dragonflies were so dependent on the stability of their tropical environment, they quickly became extinct when the climate got warmer millions of years ago.

I would like to bring them back to life and create a giant theme park full of these winged creatures - something like Jurassic World would be amazing.

These dragonflies would also serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of protecting our planet. No one wants history to repeat itself, and we don't want any more animals to become extinct. This creature, that looks as if it has come straight out of a sci-fi film, would be the perfect symbol to motivate people to look after our planet and its animals.

Contestant 3

As much as I'm dying to say dinosaurs, I promise I won't. While searching for lists of extinct animals on Google, there was one particular species that caught my eye. A woolly rhinoceros. And yes, it's exactly what it sounds like. Can you believe it?

Such a fascinating species, a rhinoceros with fur! Striking, yet comforting at the same time. How awesome would it be to see a woolly rhinoceros walking around? Honestly, if I could, I would keep it as a pet (although it would probably have to be a baby rhino).

Unfortunately, they were hunted by primitive humans, and became a common subject of cave art. Fossils up to 3.6 million years old have been recovered from Asia, Europe, and North Africa - the oldest from Tibet. Woolly rhinos were around for many centuries. Caves in France show 30,000-year-old drawings of woolly rhinos. A spear around 13,300 years old was discovered in Siberia last year. It was crafted from the horn of a woolly rhino. How incredible is that? It would be amazing to see such an old creature brought back to life.

Contestant 4

There's no way dinosaurs and humans could live together on the same planet, but I think having the brachiosaurus around would make life better and more fun, too. Imagine these long-necked dinosaurs walking around Hong Kong. Life on Earth would be so much more interesting!

Brachiosaurus were herbivores, so they wouldn't think of us as food. And with their massive bodies, they could be really helpful for not only carrying things but also transporting people around. Imagine if we could tame these animals and create a relationship in which we both were equal, trusted each other, and believed that none of us would harm the other. Then they could benefit us hugely.

Using huge dinosaurs, rather than lorries, to transport goods would be a lot more environmentally friendly. And they could also take humans to their destinations. Imagine if people in Hong Kong rode a dinosaur instead of taking a minibus! It's a nice thought, anyway!


*In case of dispute, Young Post reserves the right to decide the result

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
If you could bring one extinct species back to life, what would it be?


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