Scientists at Bangor University have succeeded in breeding the extinct Welsh dragon as part of a project to bring back extinct dragon species.
With the Welsh Dragon having gone extinct thousands of years ago, the scientists at Bangor University extracted Welsh Dragon DNA from mosquitoes fossilised in tar pits local to Bangor. Modern genetic engineering and cloning techniques have allowed the extracted DNA to be amplified, and gaps in the DNA to be replaced and using DNA from frogs to create a full genome. The dragon/frog hybrid embryos were incubated in artificial eggs, and the first successful hatching has recently been recorded.
Scientists in the School of Natural Sciences worked alongside scientists from a team associated with a company known as ‘Dragon Park’ who are interested in the conservation of dragons. Their team have pioneered the engineering and decoding of the dragon DNA to bring the species back to life. Dr Christian Dunn, a senior member of staff in the School of Natural Sciences who was heavily involved in the project said of the successful hatching “this is a fantastic achievement for Bangor University! We have worked closely with a team of palaeontologists, and we are thrilled to announce the successful breeding of the previously extinct Welsh Dragon!”.
There are of course ethical concerns associated with bringing extinct animals back to life, but many are excited by the successful hatching of the Welsh dragon for the first time in thousands of years. ‘Dragon Park’ company plan to open a wildlife park in the near future using this method of DNA hybrisation and restoration to allow members of the public better access to these magnificent species, and they promise it will be a fun-filled and perfectly safe experience for all involved.