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  #1  
Old 03-23-2010, 05:20 PM
Mr. Kobayashi Mr. Kobayashi is offline
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You can bring back one extinct species - what do you choose?

We're always fascinated by species that are extinct, from dodos to velociraptors, and eager to prevent it happening to species that are heading that way now.

So a silly question - you can bring back exactly one individual from an extinct species, so you can't bring back the entire species. It'll be cloned, so you'll start off with a baby one. And you can do whatever you want with it; donate to science or set free on your enemies. Oh, and you have all of Earth's history to choose from.

So, what do you bring back?

Me, I'd go with a fairly recent (on the overall timescale) addition to the 99% of species which have gone extinct; a homo neanderthalensis. They all died out about 30,000 years ago. In popular culture they're regarded as cavemen-like brutes, but I find them to be quite tragic figures - as intelligent as our ancestors, but now consigned to bones and pieces of flint. It'd be interesting to see the capabilities of one, and what it could tell us about our own species.
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2010, 05:24 PM
Attack from the 3rd dimension Attack from the 3rd dimension is offline
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Quetalcoatlus would make the world a more interesting place.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2010, 05:31 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Utahraptor. It would be my minion.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2010, 05:37 PM
Todderbob Todderbob is offline
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The largest, scariest ass bird of prey I could find.


That way, children would have to stay in doors for fear of being eaten.

Last edited by Todderbob; 03-23-2010 at 05:37 PM..
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2010, 05:57 PM
Sitnam Sitnam is offline
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Arheopterix, I've always wondered how well it could really fly.
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2010, 05:59 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Honest policticians?

Last edited by drachillix; 03-23-2010 at 06:00 PM..
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2010, 08:54 PM
Risha Risha is offline
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The Passenger Pigeon.
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2010, 09:02 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Great Auk.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2010, 09:03 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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The thylacine.
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2010, 09:13 PM
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Hey, you stole mine! I was going to say the same thing.
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2010, 09:14 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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You already picked mine. I want to see if Neanderthals can breed with the current population of humans, which has been speculated might be possible..

I'll pick something else. Gigantopithecus!
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  #12  
Old 03-24-2010, 12:02 AM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Can't decide, let me think.
Stellar's Sea Cow, we do have manatees and dugongs still. At least their reason for extinction might not happen again but maybe they are not unique enough.

The Carolina Parakeet. I like the idea of an actual native North American parrot but we now have do many escaped parrot species that they might not have a niche anymore.

Baiji, Chinese River Dolphin, may not be extinct but the problems that have led it to extinction still exist. I wouldn't want to bring them back to the same situation.

I guess I'll go with the Dodo, I think they'd at least be amusing.
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2010, 12:04 AM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
Honest policticians?
The OP said "extinct" not "mythical".
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  #14  
Old 03-24-2010, 12:53 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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I would bring back the Aiolornis! A giant vulture-looking thing with a wingspan of 18 feet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
Honest policticians?
The OP said "extinct" not "mythical".
Haha!
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  #15  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:14 AM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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The Huia.
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  #16  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:31 AM
Mosier Mosier is offline
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The question of neaderthal's intelligence is not settled. There's not a lot of evidence of language or art, or the same level of sophistication in their tools when compared to sapiens of the same time. I'd like to have a neanderthal to settle questions like "just how smart were they?" I would like to see if a neanderthal could participate meaningfully in modern society if it grew from an infant today. It's also not settled whether neanderthal and sapiens could interbreed, and whether their offspring would be fertile. I think I agree with the OP that I'd bring one back just for the opportunity to understand more about our closest cousins.
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  #17  
Old 03-24-2010, 02:24 AM
EvilTOJ EvilTOJ is offline
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Megalodon. I'm already terrified of the ocean, what do I care?
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  #18  
Old 03-24-2010, 03:23 AM
Lantern Lantern is offline
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Neanderthals were the first thing I thought of as well when I read the thread title. Although reviving a species close to but probably below our intellectual level would raise a number of tricky ethical and political questions. And if as some argue, humans were responsible for wiping them out, I am not sure how they would feel about living with us.
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  #19  
Old 03-24-2010, 03:40 AM
Mr. Kobayashi Mr. Kobayashi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosier View Post
The question of neaderthal's intelligence is not settled. There's not a lot of evidence of language or art, or the same level of sophistication in their tools when compared to sapiens of the same time. I'd like to have a neanderthal to settle questions like "just how smart were they?" I would like to see if a neanderthal could participate meaningfully in modern society if it grew from an infant today. It's also not settled whether neanderthal and sapiens could interbreed, and whether their offspring would be fertile. I think I agree with the OP that I'd bring one back just for the opportunity to understand more about our closest cousins.
Indeed, although the evidence suggests that they weren't complete knuckle-draggers - their brains were as big (or bigger) than ours.
Quote:
Neanderthals also performed many sophisticated tasks which are normally associated only with humans. For example, it is known that they controlled fire, constructed complex shelters, and skinned animals. A trap excavated at La Cotte de St Brelade in Jersey gives testament to their intelligence and success as hunters.[34]
(from wiki)
It's also possible that they used musical instruments, although we don't know for sure.

They were certainly able to speak, and differentiate between a wide range of sounds, but whether they actually did speak to each other, who knows, so that would be good to find out too.

I think the word 'cousins' there says a lot, they do appear to me like a kind of sister-species to our own. I also though of Homo erectus or rudolfensis or going back a bit something like Australopithecus afarensis. But we can take a reasonable guess about the behaviour of these chaps, some point between man and the common ancestor. Neanderthals on the other hand appear familiar enough to empathise with but alien enough to be fascinating, particularly their fate.

On preview, @ Lantern - the individual wouldn't be aware of the collective memory of the species, but if we deign to educate (if this is even possible) him/her about their kin you might indeed have a point.
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  #20  
Old 03-24-2010, 04:14 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Have to go with Dodo - I bet they'd be delicious.
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  #21  
Old 03-24-2010, 05:10 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Homo Floriensis - the 'hobbit'. How tragic is it that but for a volcanic eruption they would likely have survived to the present day?
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  #22  
Old 03-24-2010, 06:15 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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I'm torn. Dodos might be nice, but I think I need to go with Diictodon. Can you imagine have one of these little guys as a pet? Awww, puppy-lizards!
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  #23  
Old 03-24-2010, 06:43 AM
Racer1 Racer1 is offline
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A Steppe Mammoth. Then I'd be much more badass than Hannibal and would conquor Rome at my leisure.
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  #24  
Old 03-24-2010, 06:49 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
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I've recently come across the rather sad tale of the Stephens Island Wren. Seems to have caught rather a bad break in the extinction lottery.

The story is not true, according to wikipedia, but it is quite interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosier View Post
The question of neaderthal's intelligence is not settled. There's not a lot of evidence of language or art, or the same level of sophistication in their tools when compared to sapiens of the same time. I'd like to have a neanderthal to settle questions like "just how smart were they?" I would like to see if a neanderthal could participate meaningfully in modern society if it grew from an infant today.
Apparently they'd be wizards at buying car insurance.
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  #25  
Old 03-24-2010, 07:09 AM
Foma Foma is offline
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Smilodon, or Saber-toothed tiger. Hannibal can have his elephants, I'll ride in on a tiger.
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  #26  
Old 03-24-2010, 07:48 AM
Eleasarian Eleasarian is offline
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Neanderthals were my first thought after reading the thread title, even before reading all the posts saying the same.
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  #27  
Old 03-24-2010, 07:54 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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By the accounts of people that ate Dodo, they were not great tasting. What do you expect from a relative of the pigeon? They are not likely to be raised as a replacement for chicken meat if you resurrect one.
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  #28  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:06 AM
Mr. Kobayashi Mr. Kobayashi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer1 View Post
A Steppe Mammoth. Then I'd be much more badass than Hannibal and would conquor Rome at my leisure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foma View Post
Smilodon, or Saber-toothed tiger. Hannibal can have his elephants, I'll ride in on a tiger.
Oh, hell yes. Why are extinct animals so much more badass than the ones we've got left? Even the names sound harder. Like the mastodon, you don't mess with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
By the accounts of people that ate Dodo, they were not great tasting. What do you expect from a relative of the pigeon? They are not likely to be raised as a replacement for chicken meat if you resurrect one.
According to Mr. Burns their eggs are quite delish.
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  #29  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:08 AM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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Another vote for Neanderthal, I'd be interested to see if they could learn a modern language. As an aside, I saw a documentary programme the other day where the presenter was disguised as a neanderthal (brow ridges, big nose, neaderthal skull shape). He was able to walk down the street without attracting much attention.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
I want to see if Neanderthals can breed with the current population of humans, which has been speculated might be possible.
Neanderthal porn.
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  #30  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:15 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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The Elephant Bird. I want to ride one!
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  #31  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:56 AM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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Homo Erectus. At least somewhat intelligent, capable of tool use, and distinctly non-human.

...perfect slaves.
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  #32  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:18 AM
davekhps davekhps is offline
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Any dinosaur would be cool, for the obvious reasons.

But personally, I want to learn something REALLY strange: trilobites.
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  #33  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:24 AM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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I suppose I would want to revive the Most Recent Common Ancestor of H. sapiens, P. troglodytes and P. paniscus. Or is the proper term 'concestor' now?
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  #34  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:27 AM
Oregon sunshine Oregon sunshine is offline
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Dodos would solve the world's hunger problems, one 40-pound docile chicken at a time. No offense or anything dodos, I would probably just keep one or two as pets.
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  #35  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:48 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
Utahraptor. It would be my minion.
A good choice, but as a second choice I would nominate the Giant Fossa (Cryptoprocta spelea), formerly of Madagascar. A 6-foot long man-eating weasel, that reportedly used to crawl into people's homes in the middle of the night.
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  #36  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:50 AM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
A good choice, but as a second choice I would nominate the Giant Fossa (Cryptoprocta spelea), formerly of Madagascar. A 6-foot long man-eating weasel, that reportedly used to crawl into people's homes in the middle of the night.
I like how you think!

Would the Fossa be able to lure the people into not being afraid at first by acting kind of cute and cuddly and then going in for the kill? Because I might just bump it up to first place for that.
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  #37  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:16 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
By the accounts of people that ate Dodo, they were not great tasting. What do you expect from a relative of the pigeon?
I've heard that Dodo wasn't particularly tasty, just easy to catch - but not sure what you mean about the other bit. Pigeon is delicious.

Last edited by Mangetout; 03-24-2010 at 10:17 AM..
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  #38  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:24 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I've heard that Dodo wasn't particularly tasty, just easy to catch - but not sure what you mean about the other bit. Pigeon is delicious.
Pigeon = Winged rat
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  #39  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:32 AM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Pigeon = Winged rat
Not at all. Maybe you wouldn't want to eat the city-dwellers, but many (if not most) pigeons & doves are great to eat.
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  #40  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:50 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Pigeon = Winged rat
If you're talking about city pigeons, then maybe, but it's the city part that makes them less than appetising, not the pigeon part.

Wood pigeon is on a par with fillet steak, IMO. I'm quite certain Rock Dove (aka city pigeon) would be too, if it wasn't eating garbage and vomit in filthy urban conditions.
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  #41  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:52 AM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I've heard that Dodo wasn't particularly tasty, just easy to catch - but not sure what you mean about the other bit.
On the other hand, Giant Tortoises are supposed to be really tasty, and not exactly difficult to catch. It's a miracle any survived.

I don't think I've ever eaten pigeon, but it's on the menu in a lot of expensive restaurants.

Last edited by Alka Seltzer; 03-24-2010 at 10:53 AM..
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  #42  
Old 03-24-2010, 11:01 AM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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My original choice was the Moa, so there'd be something cool to see while tramping in New Zealand. But when I pulled up the wiki page for a link, I decided to go with the Haast's Eagle instead.

Last edited by blondebear; 03-24-2010 at 11:03 AM..
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  #43  
Old 03-24-2010, 11:17 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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I think my choice would be Triceratops - and I want a tame one with a howdah (elephant saddle/car) on the back.
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  #44  
Old 03-24-2010, 11:46 AM
Astroboy14 Astroboy14 is offline
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For me, an Opabinia. They're so damn CUTE!
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  #45  
Old 03-24-2010, 12:55 PM
gytalf2000 gytalf2000 is offline
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I would choose "Tyrannosaurus Rex" -- I know that they have since discovered some theropods that were a bit bigger, but the "King of the Tyrant Lizards" is still my pick!


(Of course, any of the large carnivorous dinosaurs would be fascinating to see.)
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  #46  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:24 PM
Surly Chick Surly Chick is offline
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The aurochs - just because I think a giant cow would be cool.
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  #47  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:38 PM
Ogre Ogre is offline
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The Carolina parakeet. It was the only native parrot in the eastern United States, and their large colonies brought lovely, tropical color to our part of the world. They were slaughtered as agricultural pests, and that's a tragedy.

Last edited by Ogre; 03-24-2010 at 01:39 PM..
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  #48  
Old 03-24-2010, 02:22 PM
Algorithm Algorithm is offline
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The Red Rail, lesser known former member of the ill fated fauna of Mauritius. I'd bring it back because it was apparently quite tasty, and it's a good example that Mauritius wasn't all about the dodo. Think about the rails, people!
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  #49  
Old 03-24-2010, 02:42 PM
LilyoftheField LilyoftheField is offline
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Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
seconded.

just 'cuz they're cool
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  #50  
Old 03-24-2010, 03:03 PM
SaxFace SaxFace is offline
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I would be happy to be a surrogate mother for either a half homo sapiens/Neanderthal baby or a totally genetic Neanderthal baby. In fact, it's been my secret fantasy for years.
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