The gastric brooding frog existed 30 years ago, but the extraordinary amphibian is now extinct.

In a world first, a team of Australian scientists has taken the first major step in bringing it back to life.

They have successfully reactivated its DNA and produced an embryo.

Audio: Will the gastric brooding frog come back from the dead? (AM)

Professor Mike Archer from the University of New South Wales is part of the team, which also includes researchers from the University of Newcastle.

He says the amphibian was no ordinary frog.

"In the stomach these eggs went on to develop into tadpoles and the tadpoles then went on to develop into little frogs," he told ABC radio's AM program.

"And like any pregnant mum, when you have little babies rattling away in your stomach saying, 'let me out', she would then open her mouth and out would pop little frogs.