Bringing Back the Dead
Once native to the wet and temperate climate of Queensland, Australia, the extinct gastric-brooding frog is different from most other frogs. For starters, it gives birth from its mouth, swallowing eggs to hide in its stomach until they’re ready to hatch. Secondly, all of the frogs have been dead since 1979, likely due to deforestation and pollution.
Now, scientists working on a de-extinction program, called the Lazarus Project, want to bring the baby-belching amphibian back to life. In a new experiment presented in front of the National Geographic Society, researchers successfully re-constructed the gastric-brooding frog’s embryos by combining its DNA with the eggs of a related species.
The Rare Gemstone Ammolite
This dazzling iridescent fossil of an 80 million year old ammonite measuring two feet in diameter was discovered near Alberta, Canada and is a particularly rare example of an ancient sea creature that went extinct at the same time as most dinosaurs. The spectacular coloration is the result of millions of years of high temperatures and pressures acting on the animal’s shell to create a gemstone known as ammolite.