Not all animals can be successfully crossbred. Generally, the two animals must be from the same genus and even share many similar chromosomes.
Chromosomes are threadlike strands which carry genetic information. An offspring of the crossbred animals always share traits from the two parents. For instance, the liger inherits complete stripes from the tiger and mane from the lion. Hybrid animals are often born sterile; they can’t produce any offspring.
Although not so common, some animal species have been documented as being the outcome of hybridization. The Lonicera fly is a good example of a novel animal species which resulted from natural hybridization.
The American Red wolf seems to be a hybrid species between a coyote and gray wolf, even though its taxonomic category has been the subject of huge controversy. The European edible frog seems to be a species but is really a semi-permanent hybrid between marsh frogs and pool frogs. The edible frog species is reliant on the availability of at least one of the parents’ species being maintained.
Hybrid animals are possibly fascinating to look at, but a few scientists think cross-breeding species is a wrong idea. In fact, not all of these animals exist to adulthood, and they’re at risk of being born with some genetic defects. Additionally, crossbreeding is basically unnatural—it typically doesn’t happen in the wild, only in captivity. Here are five strange hybrid breeds you probably did not know they existed:
The Coywolf is basically a wolf hybrid and a Coyote, which frequently happens in nature. In fact, very regular which all well-known red wolves have been identified to have genes of a coyote in their lineage. It’s not clear whether this inbreeding has happened due to Human development limiting their present natural habitat, or if the Red Wolf has always been a hybrid.
This animal has caused many problems in a Canid taxonomy, as hybrids are not often considered as different species, although convention would consider the red wolf a subspecies of the wolf, leaving its Latin name hence not mentioning of its coyote genes.
A Zebroid is the shared name for all zebra hybrids and comes about when a female animal from the Equidae family is crossed with a male zebra. These hybrids do not occur in nature, and several zebroids may be born with a type of dwarfism and are nearly always infertile.
There are several different animals which would be categorized under the Zebroid group, including the zoni (zebra and pony), Zonkey (zebra and donkey) and the Zorse (Zebra and a Horse). These extraordinary animals often have the stripes of the male zebra, and the shape of the female animal, even though the stripes don’t cover their entire bodies, and is often limited to the legs and feet, or can be seen on patches over the body of the animals.
The Liger is crossbred of a female tiger and a male lion; hence, the two parents are from Panthera genus of diverse species. Ligers are the largest of all the large cats, growing to almost the tigers and lion combined size. They possess characteristics from both parents, for example, their highly social behavior from lions and their love of swimming from tigers.
Today, Ligers only exist in the captivity as their territories do not overlap, but historically there’ve been stories of ligers surviving in the wild. Ligers were long believed to be sterile, but this theory was refuted in 1953 when a 15-year old liger was productively mated with the male lion. The cub lived into adulthood, in spite of having poor health.
4. Savannah cat
The Savannah is a moderately modern domestic cat creation which was recognized as a new breed by the International Cat Association in 2001. This cat is the hybrid of the wild African Serval and the domestic cat. Savannah’s are more social than many domestic cat breeds and have always been matched with dogs due to their strong loyalty.
The Savannah is a big cat with an extremely slim body. They are the tallest cats, and the highest jumpers, in the cat world. Savannah’s can come in nearly all colors, based on what domestic cat was eventually bred with the serval, they’ll always, though, have that marbled or spotted appearance. Based on the hybrid generation of the Savannah, it determines how large and wild the cat appears, and they usually appear so similar to a miniature variety of a cheetah.
5. Grizzly-Polar bear
The Grizzly-polar bear also known as the Grolar bear has been found both in the wild and in captivity. They’re reported to exist as early as 1964. Grizzly bears and polar bears essentially distance themselves from each other. The polar bears like ice and water and even gives birth on the ice while Grizzly likes forested regions and always breed on land.
This fact made some scientists develop a theory that most polar bears are forced to move south while the polar ice caps melt, compelling them to the grizzly bear’s common territory. A grizzly-polar bear is often a fertile hybrid, and there’s even been a situation of the second generation grizzly-polar bear which was shot on the Victoria Island. After conducting several DNA tests, it was discovered that the father of the bear was a grizzly bear, and the mother was a grizzly-polar bear.