As thanks for providing advanced aliens with up to date directions to the Horsehead Nebula (*someone *forgot to update the GalaxyNav), you have been given a single use disposable de-extictifier. If you choose to use it, one extinct species of your choosing will be resurrected.
The species will appear in numbers approximately that of the mid-point of the species’ existence, so rather a lot of them may pop into existence. They will appear at ground level at the point of the planet they were found in, unless that is now water when they were land-dwelling or vice versa, in which case they will appear on the closest water/land as appropriate. If the environment is otherwise unsuited- wrong oxygen levels, too hot/cold/salty- they’ll just re-extinctify in short order, unless someone manages to save a few (didn’t think they’d given you the premium model, did you?)
The machine can’t be copied; it’s in a sealed box and any attempt to open it will trigger the combustion of the contents, leaving just a note saying ‘This is part of the reason no other species want to talk to you’.
Do you use it? What would you bring back? I think I’m having Mammuthus creticus: Cretan mini-mammoths.
Gut reaction would be say the Irish Elk (Megaloceros giganteus) but pondering a little more I am leaning towards the Mammoth. Predators would be cool and a kick to hunt but I figure the populations in general would be safer with one of those two.
They’ve been making regular sneaky trips to Earth, building up a genetic database of everything and doing eco surveys for millions of years (a student project that got a bit out of hand), so it can come up with any species that actually existed.
It’s all linked up to an exceptionally well organised database of current common and scientific names, so you can pretty well try any name, and mostly it can work out what you mean, showing multiple images if multiple species share a common name or the spelling’s ambiguous. Instructions appear in your language, calibrated as best as it can for ease of use by you.
If it’s not in the database or it can’t work out what you mean, there’s a selection of increasingly patronising error messages. I think asking for a unicorn would get one of the ‘Well, bless your heart’ level.
ETA: the organisms that pop into existence are a representative population, so a mix of adults and young for most species. You wouldn’t just get 4,000,000,000 passenger pigeon eggs.