Real Hybrid Animals

Sure, with Photoshop you can stick a camels head on a sharks body, but what can nature actually do?

When most people are young, they wonder if a person could cross a Giraffe with an Alligator, or a Cat with a Fish. Of course neither science or nature has yet managed to come up with these possibilities, which is probably a good thing, but some other crosses, known as hybrids, do exist. Here are just a few of them.

Mules are one of the more well know hybrids, they are the result of a mating between a Jack and a Mare. A jack is a male donkey, and a mare is a female horse. They have features similar to each, but are more likely to be mistaken as a donkey. Their ears are long, but not as long as a donkeys, their tails are a bit more of a give away, they are thicker than that of a donkey. Mules are usually sterile, but not always. Some advantages of mules over horses is they are more thrifty on their food, sure footed, and less apt to spook. The biggest advantage of them over donkeys (although I own a donkey whom I adore) is that mules are less dangerous to people, and easier to work with.

A liger is, as you might have guessed, a cross between a tiger and a lion. Unethical in terms of preserving a species, these often were bred to be used as circus animals, as is likely the case for these animals in this 1903 photo.

This is a cross between a horse and a Zebra. Again another cross that was created more as a novelty than for an actual purpose. They are cool looking though. Similar crosses are done with Zebras and ponies or donkeys.

This is what happens when a Canadian Goose mixes with a domestic white goose. It would be an accidental breeding, as in most areas permits are required to own Canadian Geese, and the crossing of them with domestic geese would be frowned on.

This is a cross between a Malamute dog and a Wolf. This often happens accidentally in northern communities, but is something some people would love to have. Maybe they only think they would love to have one. This hybrid dog would be in need of a lot of work to keep it well mannered and behaved. It would also require a long daily run.

This beautiful bird is very likely the result of a cross between a Golden Pheasant, and a Lady Amhearst Pheasant. There is no proper name for this cross, but it is frowned upon in the birding industry to intentionally breed mixed pheasants, although it does happen.

A Wolphin is extremely rare, they are a cross between a false Killer Whale and a Bottlenosed Dolpin, and are fertile. It is a beautiful photo, of an animal that is seldom seen, this one is obviously in captivity.

Finally we have the Zubron, a hybrid resulting from the breeding of a European Bison, and a cow. These animals are often used in a way similar to beef cattle. In North American a similar cross, using the North American Bison, is called a Beefalo. As such it is clear to see these hybrids were intentionally made as a way of getting more meat on a animal, but staying away from the more wild nature of the Bison. They are sometimes kept as a novelty animal.

Photos are from Wikimedia.

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9 Responses to “Real Hybrid Animals”
  1. ebazaar Says...

    On September 22, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Very nice pictures and great narration. I personally like that picture of Wolphin. Very rare indeed! you didn’t include platipus(sp?) in the list. Love those little beings! they’re so cute. hehe

  2. Mark Gordon Brown Says...

    On September 23, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I didnt include a Playpus, because they are actually naturally this way. All these animals are hybrids, crosses of other animal species.

  3. shaun simpson Says...

    On October 25, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    great article interestingly strange animals

  4. eddiego65 Says...

    On October 25, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Very interesting animal crosses! Great article!

  5. brancepeth Says...

    On November 28, 2008 at 2:52 am

    A liger is a cross between a Lion (the father) and a Tiger (mother.
    A cross between a Tiger (Father) anmd a Lion (mother) is a Tigon. They are slightly different results.

  6. Sueper Says...

    On December 23, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Ligers and Tigons also get very very large. Much larger that the pure bred parents. There is a theory that the bodies natural growth restrictions are inneffective in the hybrid.

  7. Zoe Says...

    On March 5, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Actually, tigons tend to be smaller than their parents, where as ligers are missing the hormone that inhibits growth after puberty, making them almost twice the size of a tiger

  8. mr.k00l Says...

    On June 20, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    i have a hybrid snake it mixed with a python and a rat snake

  9. bella Says...

    On November 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    ohhhh sooooo cool!!!!! love the facts pics and info plz post more i thirst for animals

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