can you give me some reasons why we should start cloning dinosaurs

Because it would be awesome.

Leaving aside all the enormous practical difficulties that mean we will almost certainly never be able to do this, having live dinosaurs would of course totally revolutionise dinosaur palaeontology.  We would no longer have to argue about, for example, how much the bones limited neck movement -- we could just watch them and see what they do.

Aside from the practical issue that we can't clone dinosaurs with our current technology, and that we probably won't be able to for quite some time, perhaps one good reason why anyone would want to clone dinosaurs is simply to see how a live dinosaur looks like. A single live dinosaur could potentially end decades of debate, such as are dinosaurs warm-blooded, or can T. rex run fast?

But of course, since cloning dinosaurs isn't much of an option right now, a sensible scientist would use other methods to try and answer such hypotheses - through phylogeny, through biomechanics, or whatever.

One practical point (from a scientist's perspective) is that the whole world would be fascinated. This would increse general interest in science, encourage more people into scinetific education and research and probably generate more money for science in a way which cloning say an extinct rat species would not.

Humm, again leaving aside the impossibility of cloning dinosaurs at present (and not to get technical but without frozen tissue [a la mammoths] I am very unsure it will ever be possible) i'll go with the jurassic park scenario. Sooner or later they would get into the wild and alter the ecosystem in ways we can't predict. That might be a bad or a good thing but once the genie is out the bottle....!

Well David that does depend how you keep them. Putting a lone Compsognathus (2ft long) in a zoo is probably pretty safe and containable, putting 1000 Brachiosaurus (50 ft long) into the wild might be less sensible.

Hello everyone,

This is clearly a great topic, as this question has appeared in several different iterations since Ask a Biologist started. … php?id=313

I am not going to go into any of the information for and against the possibility that we might or might not be able to do this one day, rather I wish to pose a more philosophical question, based on Dave Hone's response at #5.
This relates to having animals in captivity.  Having a 'caged' compsognathus, would tell us an inordinate amount about the physiology of that particular animal, but would we still get the essential 'dinosaurness' as well?  This is the same for tigers and bears, elephants and hippos.  Having an individual in a cage may mean that we preserve the 'genome' and the physical organism, but does it give us the individual.  I am not trying tosay that zoos canot support biodiversity, because they can.  However, bringing back an extinct animal that will be an exhibit, however much it will raise interest in science, is not necessarily the best thing for the animal.  Unless we set aside enough land (say a small island near Costa Rica, Isla Sorna say) I think it would be wrong (even were it to be possible) to bring back an extinct animal.  I have caveats that might make it 'OK', but I would essentially say that extinction happens, and we have to be humane in the science that we do.  Does that make sense?