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Which Extinct Animal Would You Bring Back?

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If you could bring back an extinct animal, what would it be? A towering Tyrannosaurus? A massive mammoth? The peaceful Passenger Pigeon? A stalking saber-toothed cat? Tell us on Twitter!


Illustration of two passenger pigeons sitting on a tree branch; artist's rendering of a Tyrannosaurus rex with teeth bared.
Passenger pigeons (left); Tyrannosaurus rex (right)
© AMNH/Photographed by J. Beckett, artwork by Louis Agassiz Fuertes; © AMNH Photo Studio/Artwork by Charles Robert Knight

Thanks to continuing advances in technology, this question is getting less and less rhetorical. Soon, biologists may have the ability to reintroduce long-vanished animal species to our world. But should they? And if so, what species should be at the front of the line?

These are just some of the questions that will be debated tomorrow when Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate. From the science of resurrecting ancient animals to the ethical issues it poses, this promises to be a spirited conversation, so y’know—hold onto your butts.

Before our panelists take the stage, though, we want to get your take? Today, the Museum asks: what animal would you bring back? A Tyrannosaurus rex, a woolly mammoth, a saber-toothed cat, or a Passenger Pigeon? Caste your vote now!


Illustration of a saber-toothed tiger standing on a cliff edge with teeth bared (left); illustration of a mammoth with large curved tusks.
Saber-toothed tiger (left); Columbian mammoth (right)
© AMNH Photo Studio/Artwork by Charles Robert Knight; © AMNH Photo Studio/Artwork by Charles Robert Knight

Let us know your thoughts! And once you do, be sure to follow our Facebook page, where one of tomorrow's panelists, Curator Ross MacPhee, will join us on Thursday at 2 pm ET to offer a rundown of the debate, answer your questions, and share his thoughts on what animal you want to see make a comeback during a live video interview.

While the live debate is sold out, you can still get tickets to tomorrow's simulcast in the Museum's Kauffman Theater. And if you can't make it, don't worry—we'll have a video of the event up on Friday, so stay tuned to our YouTube channel!