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In Search of Living Dinosaurs

Incredible stories and a new expedition

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IN 1997, a group of Dolgan nomads in Siberia stumbled upon a huge tusk projecting from the frozen tundra. This chance discovery led to the recovery in October, 1999 of the body of a frozen, nearly intact woolly mammoth that died some 20,000 years ago, when pre-civilized man scavenged the land in packs like animals. The most astounding part of this story, however, is that some scientists believe there may be enough DNA in the carcass to actually clone the ancient ancestor of the elephant. If the scientists are successful, woolly mammoths may once again walk the Earth.

Think of it. Humans may once again stand in the presence of a magnificent creature that has been extinct for tens of thousands of years. According to some cryptozoologists, however, some modern humans have set eyes on even more incredible animals with a far more ancient lineage – dinosaurs.

Ever since dinosaur fossils have been recognized for what they are (this has been so for only about 150 years), fantasy writers have enjoyed the possibility that humans could meet these incredible monsters face to face. In The Lost World, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle envisioned adventurers finding surviving species of dinosaurs in unexplored areas of jungle. And more recently in Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton detailed how dinosaurs could be recreated through cloning, with strands of their DNA extracted from dino-blood-filled mosquitoes encased in amber.

Crichton’s vision may take a step toward reality when and if the cloning experiment with the mammoth begins. And some say Doyle’s story might not be entirely fantasy. Living dinosaurs, they claim, have recently been seen, heard and possibly even killed in nearly inaccessible parts of the African Congo.

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