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03/21/2013 04:51 pm ET

De-Extinction Photos Show Species That Could Be Brought Back To Life

What would happen if humans could resurrect long-extinct species?

In its April issue, National Geographic magazine focuses on the fascinating and controversial topic of de-extinction. According to the IUCN red list, 63 species are already extinct in the wild, and thousands more are critically endangered. De-extinction is a new frontier for scientists to explore rebirth through genetic manipulation, and could potentially restore these animals to the planet.

The concept prompts a number of ethical and scientific questions, as discussed at National Geographic’s TEDx De-Extinction event on March 15th. Will bringing a species back from the brink of extinction disturb the natural order of things, or add richness to failing eco-systems? What would it mean for conservationists? Should we do it?

Learn more about de-extinction in the latest issue of National Geographic magazine and check out the amazing images below.

Photos and captions courtesy of National Geographic

PHOTO GALLERY
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BEFORE YOU GO
National Geographic's De-Extinction Series
PHOTO GALLERY
National Geographic's De-Extinction Series

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