Freakish Mouth-Birthing Frog Brought Back From the Dead

March 18, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

Australian scientists have just successfully resurrected the gastric-brooding frog. Native to the Australian rainforest — until it became extinct in 1983 — it was best known for the fact that it gave birth through its mouth.

It was killed off by a combination of disease, habitat loss, and parasites — all non-human-related causes. Phew. At least it’s not back thirsty for revenge, we hope.

This disturbing impressive procedure took place at the University of Newcastle, thanks to a cloning technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer. Scientists implanted dead tissue cells from a long-frozen specimen into a fresh egg of a genetically similar frog species, and though the eggs only reached the early embryo stage, the team is confident that this was due to technical — not biological — difficulties. The cloning of the gastric-brooding frog, known as the “Lazarus Project,” is a major victory for the field of de-extinction.

There’s already talk of bringing back other extinct creatures, like the Woolly Mammoth, Tasmanian Tiger, and Dodo bird. Awesome idea.