How to Clone a Mammoth

How to Clone a Mammoth


You have probably heard or seen the Jurassic World movie and its depiction of bringing back long-extinct animals. But would something like that really be possible? You'll get to learn more about the science of de-extinction in this lesson.


To begin your exploration, watch What to Bring Back?, a short two-minute video by Beth Shapiro where she answers that question. As you watch the video, think about your answers to these questions and record them on your Science of De-Extinction student sheet. You'll discuss these questions with your class:

  • What are some of the factors that we should consider when deciding who to bring back?
  • What is generation time and why should it be a consideration for bringing back an extinct species?
  • Why might reintroducing an extinct animal into a habitat be considered risky?
Now that you've started to explore some of important questions about this topic, one big question remains: What exactly is de-exctinction? Wach What is De-Extinction? for a quick summary. As you watch the video, consider these questions and record your answers on your student sheet:
  • What did Beth Shapiro clarify about de-extinction?
  • What surprised you about this definition?

Let's learn a little more about Beth Shapiro and what she, as a scientist, actually does to study extinction. You will watch her 10-minute TEDx presentation, How to Bring a Mammoth Back to Life. Be prepared to discuss these questions with your class.

  • What does Beth Shapiro do for a living?
  • Why go to the Arctic to collect ancient DNA samples?
  • Why is the Arctic an ideal place to get ancient DNA?
  • What are the steps for “how to bring a mammoth back?”

This esheet is a part of the How to Clone a Mammoth lesson.

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Esheet Details

Grades Project 2061 Benchmarks National Science Standards