Scientists are one step closer to bringing the woolly mammoth back to life.
University of Chicago scientists discovered new information about the extinct animal's genome that gives them a clearer understanding about how the animal adapted to life during the last ice age, according to Wall Street OTC.
Some of these adaptations include a metabolism that allowed them to pack on insulating fat, smaller ears that lost less heat and a reduced sensitivity.
With this information, scientists hope to be able to at least create a hybridized Asian elephant with a few of the physical traits of its woolly-haired cousin, said study coauthor Vincent Lynch, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
"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."
The DNA scientists have been studying the hair samples of two woolly mammoths found in Siberia. One of the mammoths died 20,000 years ago, while the other died 60,000 years ago. Most of the woolly mammoths died off when the last ice age ended 10,000 years ago. Those that did survive, lived on Wrangel Island off the coast of Siberia until about 3,700 years ago.
When scientists create a mammoth/Asian elephant, it won't be long until they can try to recreate the original. By doing so, they hope to make the woolly mammoth "de-extinct."
However, one question still remains: Should they?