Ligers, tigons, and grolar bears, oh my! Take a look at some of these otherworldly hybrid animals and you’ll realize the possibilities are endless. Though they rarely occur in nature, individuals from different but closely related species do occasionally mate, and the result is a biological hybrid — an offspring that shares traits from both parent species.
A cama is a hybrid of two animals from different worlds — camels from Asia, and llamas from South America. The two species exhibit many differences, but camels and llamas are both camelids descended from a common ancestor that evolved in North America during the Palaeogene period. Camas were produced via artificial insemination to create an animal with the size and strength of the camel, but the more cooperative temperament of the llama. The unlikely fertilization was a success. Camas exhibit a camel-like temperament, but they are attracted to female llamas.
Horses and donkeys have been cross bred for many years, because the resulting mule is a very useful farmyard animal. Mules are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Mules are so useful because they combine some of the best aspects of horses and donkeys, and are believed to be longer-living and more sure-footed than horses, while being more intelligent and faster than donkeys.
Unfortunately for farmers, mules are infertile like all the hybrid animals on this list, because although horses and donkeys are closely related they are not close enough to produce offspring which can have offspring of their own.
3. Savannah Cat
The closest thing to a wild cat that can be kept domestically, a savannah cat is what you get when a regular domestic cat breeds with a Serval- a type of African wild cat. Savannahs are increasingly popular pets, as their traits include loyalty and a greater ability to be trained. Some breeders compare them to dogs, as it can be possible to walk one on a leash, and even train them to play fetch. They are also much more social than domestic cats, and a lot bigger, making for an excellent large pet. Savannahs have recently been recognized as a domestic breed, so if you are looking for a friendly, loyal, and highly unusual pet, a Savannah cat may be the creature for you.
4. Blood Parrot
A controversial hybrid, the Blood Parrot is a tropical fish which results from breeding Green or Gold Servum fish with Red Devil fish. It is controversial because it is known to have many deformities including a small mouth which limits its ability to feed. Breeders continue to make this hybrid because many people who buy tropical fish as pets love their bright colors, but some argue that continuing to breed Blood Parrots is unethical because the fish suffer from the known deformities. If the breeders know the resulting fish will have difficulty feeding, the argument goes, they should not allow the cross breeding to take place. Are Blood Parrots lovely, beautiful pets, or a cruel example of prioritizing looks over the well-being of an animal?
Coywolves are the outcome of coyote and wolf interbreeding. They are bigger than regular coyotes, they are aggressive pack-hunters, like wolfs, and they have less fear from the urban areas. That is why, this quickly increasing breed is becoming a trouble in some areas, such as Durham Region, where farmers suffer major losses of livestock. Some biologists claim that this animal is a product of people’s spreading their own areas at the expense of reducing the natural habitat of wolves and coyotes.
Dzo is a result of cross breeding a yak and usually a domestic cow. The males are infertile, but very strong and resistant, and that is why they are used as ‘pack animals‘ in Mongolia and Tibet. Females or Dzomos are fertile, can be further interbred with either yaks or bulls. They give a higher yield of meat and milk than the ordinary cows.
A very rare hybrid, which has only two representatives, both of which are created in captivity, is a combination of a false killer whale (not a real whale, but a very large dolphin breed) and a bottlenose dolphin. Both of the examples live in Hawaii, in the Sea life Park. The first one is a mother Kekaimalu, who had two unsuccessful pregnancies before she gave birth to her daughter Kawili Kai, whose father is a bottlenose dolphin.
Liger is a big cat, an offspring of a father lion and a mother tiger. It looks like a big lion with tiger stripes, it takes friendliness after its father, and love for swimming after its mother. In 1953 a liger was successfully paired with a male lion, thus busting the myth of their infertility. Today, they can be found only in captivity. The most famous liger is Hercules, from a theme park in Miami, and he is also the biggest living example of the cat family.
9. Grolar Bear
Prizzly, or Grolar bear is a product of matching polar and grizzly bear. It has both been found in nature and produced artificially. It is known that grizzlies and polar bears live, feed and mate in different ways, so this mixture is very puzzling. However, scientists claim that, due to ice melting in the areas which are polar bears’ natural habitat, they are forced to come closer to grizzly territories, and when they come closer Prizzly happens. Prizzlies are one of the rare fertile hybrids, and the one shot on Banks Island in the Canadian Arctic proved there has been a second generation of this hybrid. So, do you want to take this animal as your pet?
A zebroid is the offspring of a cross between a zebra and any other equine, usually a horse or a donkey. There are zorses, zonkeys, zonies and a host of other combinations. Zebroids are an interesting example of hybrids bred from species that have a radically different number of chromosomes. For instance, horses have 64 chromosomes and zebra have between 32 and 44 (depending on species). Even so, nature finds a way.