Can you imagine what will come out of breeding a zebra and a horse? How about a lion and a tiger? Sounds strange, right? But, believe it or not, cross-breeds really do exist. Unfortunately, they rarely occur in the wild. But, when they do, the results are nothing short of remarkable.
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To have an idea about these amazing hybrid animals, take a look at our list below:
A liger, the largest among all living cats and felines, is the offspring of a female tiger and a male lion. It inherits the characteristics of its parents. For instance, it loves to swim like the tigers and it is a sociable creature like the lions.
These days, ligers can only be seen in captivity because its habitats don’t overlap. However, in the past few decades, there were reports that ligers existed in the wild.
Also, ligers were believed to be sterile. It was not until 1953, when a 15-year-old female liger successfully mated with a male lion. Despite having poor health, its offspring survived into adulthood.
At a theme park in Miami, a huge liger named Hercules can be seen. With a weight of almost 410 kg, he holds the Guinness World record for being the biggest cat on the planet.
Zebroid is a collective name used for any zebra hybrids. It is usually the result of a male zebra crossed with a female animal from the equidae family, such as a horse or a donkey.
The zebroid usually has the characteristics of the female animal and the stripes of the zebra. But, the stripes never really cover the entire body. Since it never occurs naturally, most zebroids that are born have complications like dwarfism and infertility.
There are lots of animals that fall under the Zebroid category. These include the Zorse, which is the combination of a zebra and a horse, the Zonkey, the cross of a zebra and a donkey, and the Zoni, the offspring of the zebra and the pony.
3. Grolar Bears
Although the grizzly bear and the polar bear generally distance themselves from one another, there are rare instances when they meet and mate. Their offspring is called the grolar bear.
Grizzly bears prefer to inhabit forested areas and breed on land. Meanwhile, polar bears like ice and water and give birth on the ice. But, according to the theory of scientists, polar bears are forced to go south due to the melting ice caps. Because of this, they are forced to live with grizzly bears.
Since 1964, there were already reported sightings of the Grolar Bears. At that time, a second generation grolar bear was shot on Victoria Island. After running several tests, it was found out that the bear’s mother was a grolar bear and the father was a grizzly bear.
A wholphin is an under the sea hybrid that occurs after a successful pregnancy of a bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale. As the name suggests, the false killer whale is not actually a whale, but a huge breed of dolphin.
Its size, shape, and color depend on its parent species. For instance, its number of teeth is mixed. While the bottlenose dolphin has 88 and the false killer whale has 44, the wholphin has 66.
Although wholphins are said to occur naturally in the wild, there are only two living wholphins in captivity. They are both found at Sea Life Park in Hawaii. The first one is named Kekaimalu.
Keikamalu gave birth at a young age. Sad to say, her first and second baby did not survive. Fortunately, the third baby did. The caretakers named her Kawili Kai. Within two months since birth, she became as large as a mature bottlenose dolphin. And now, she lives happily with her mom at the park.
5. Savannah Cats
The Savannah cat is an average-sized and large-eared feline that is common in Africa. It is the offspring of a domestic cat and a Serval. This cat comes in varying colors, which depend on its parents. However, it usually has a marbled or spotty appearance.
Towards the end of the 20th century, this rare cat became popular among breeders. And in 2001, it was already accepted and registered as a new breed by the International Cat Association.
Today, the savannah cats are interestingly compared to dogs because of their behavior. Aside from their loyalty, they can be taught how to play fetch and can be trained to walk on a harness.
6. Narwhal-Beluga Hybrid
The Narwhal and the Beluga whales are the only two living species, which belong to the Monodontidae family. When they mate, the offspring is called the Narwhal-Beluga hybrid.
Although this is very unusual, there was one hybrid that has been documented from the western part of Greenland.
For many years, horses and donkeys have been cross bred because of its offspring, which is called a mule. The mule is considered a very useful farm animal as it carries the best aspects of its parents – it lives longer than horses, and is more intelligent than the donkeys.
Like other hybrids, the mule is an infertile animal. Even if horses and donkeys are closely related, they are not compatible enough to produce an offspring that can produce another offspring of their own.
The cama is a cross of two animals from varying worlds – llamas from South America and camels from Asia. Even if these species have distinguishable differences, they both descend from a common ancestor, the camelids.
Because a llama is about six times smaller than a camel, the only way to produce a cama is through artificial insemination. Throughout records, there have only been six attempts that were considered a success.
This hybrid first occurred in a laboratory in Dubai. It was the result of breeding a male camel with a llama. It was made for the purpose of making a creature with a camel’s strength and size, and a llama’s wool and temperament.
Over the years, cross breeding to improve the supply of food has been practiced, not only in animals, but also in plants. And, the beefalo is just one of the most successful lines of breeds created, which produces environment-friendly and healthy food.
From the name itself, the beefalo was created with the purpose of meat production. It is the cross of an American bison and domestic cattle. Compared to traditional beef, the beefalo has been noted to have a meat with a lower fat and cholesterol.
The sheep-goat is considered a rare hybrid because sheeps and goats belong to different families. Although mating between the two species are known to occur, their offspring, more often than not, turn up dead. Despite that, live births were reported to have occurred.
The most famous incident happened in Botswana in 2000. Dubbed as the “Toast of Botswana”, the offspring was infertile, but had an active libido. Because it was so active, it earned itself the name, Bemya, which means rapist.
11. Blood Parrot Cichlid
In 1986, blood parrot cichlids were introduced in Taiwan. It is the cross of either a midas cichlid and a redhead cichlid, or a gold or green Severum and a red devil.
When creating this fish, there were lots of issues raised as the blood parrot cichlid has several anatomical deformities. One of these issues is its mouth. It is so small that it will have difficulties in eating.
Blood parrot cichlids usually come in varying colors that range from red and yellow, which makes them popular to fish pet owners.
These hybrid animals stand true to the fact that opposites really do attract, as they all came from two distinct breeds with contrasting traits. Despite that, they still possess characteristics that make them different from the rest, thus proving that nature has its own unique way of showing its wonders.
Here are a few more amazing animal hybrids that you need to check out.