Scientists are one step closer to bringing a woolly mammoth back to life.
A new analysis of the woolly mammoth genome has revealed several adaptations that allowed the furry beasts to thrive in the subzero temperatures of the last ice age, including a metabolism that allowed them to pack on insulating fat, smaller ears that lost less heat and a reduced sensitivity to cold.
The findings could enable researchers to “resurrect” the ice-age icon — or at least a hybridized Asian elephant with a few of the physical traits of its woolly-haired cousin, said study co-author Vincent Lynch, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago.
“It won’t be that long till we’re technically able to do it, but whether we should is a different question,” Lynch told Live Science, referring to cloning a mammoth. “I don’t think we should.”