Science is inching closer to bringing species back from extinction — but the rise of necrofauna has risks | National Post

The gastric brooding frog is no regular frog. Like some horror story of ancient myth, it gives birth out of its mouth. After incubating fertilized eggs in its stomach, it literally vomits up its offspring at the moment of birth, having cleverly used its stomach as a temporary uterus.

Rather, it used to do this. The Australian amphibian was discovered in the 1970s, and by the mid 1980s, it had gone the way of 99 per cent of the four billion species that have roamed this planet. It went extinct, mostly because of a fungus introduced to its habitat by people.

Its end, however, marked a beginning of sorts: The death of the last gastric brooding frog almost exactly coincided with the first conference, in 1983, of the Extinct DNA Study Group, which produced a paper on recovering dinosaur DNA from blood-sucking insects preserved in amber, which made its way into the imagination of sci-fi writer Michael Crichton, and from there into popular culture as Jurassic Park.