Scientists would edit the genomes of the dodo’s closest living relative – the Nicobar pigeon, which contains the pigeon’s full set of DNA – and add some of the most important dodo genes, taken from preserved dodo remains. Then they could put that genome into an egg cell, and let that egg develop into an organism that should look like a dodo.
But that organism wouldn’t be genetically identical to the dodo. Nor would it have any other dodos to teach it how to act like and, well, actually be a dodo.
Colossal hasn’t successfully created any de-extinct creatures yet. Nor have any other scientists, unless you count the team that cloned the Pyrenean ibex in 2003 – but that clone died within minutes. And yet Colossal seems confident, saying it hopes to de-extinct Tasmanian tigers by 2025 and woolly mammoths by 2027. They’re certainly amassing a fortune to make it happen: Since its founding in 2021, Colossal has raised over US$225 million from tech investors, Paris Hilton and even a CIA-backed venture capital firm.