Cloning prehistoric animals from mosquito blood trapped in amber? Works in the movies, but as scientists have no doubt had to patiently explain to every subsequent generation of kids, not so much in real life.
But cloning prehistoric animals that actually still have liquid blood and preserved muscle tissue? That could be a bit more possible, and is a tantalizing possibility raised by the discovery of a mammoth from an Arctic Ocean island, whose meaty parts were preserved by being frozen under the water (the parts above the surface likely got eaten by predators).
As Ian Malcolm might ask, though, what would you do with a mammoth once you bring it back? Give it a good shave and make fur coats?
And why aren’t we cloning existing endangered species? Humanity will look awfully stupid – more than normal – if, say, we let the tigers all die and we didn’t think to preserve blood samples. I’d like to think someone is doing that.
I’d like to think it, because I don’t want to look it up.