Cross-breeding different kinds of dogs is very popular. But have you ever thought of crossing a tiger and a lion? That’s quite difficult to imagine, right? But it’s possible. Well, other than that, there are more unusual real-life hybrid animals. They are not normally seen in the wild because the young produced usually doesn’t get fertile. To be able to reproduce, the original two species must be cross-bred again.
Cross-species pairings usually happen in rescues and zoos because they have unusual interactions there, and rarely in the wild. Check out some of the incredible real-life hybrid animals we’ve gathered.
Ligers and Tigons
There are two forms of Tiger and Lion hybrids. When the father is a lion and the mother is a tiger, their offspring would be called a liger and vice versa for a tigon. Ligers are considered as the largest felines in the world. Scientists believe that their size came from some hidden recessive genes in both parents. Tigons, on the other hand, are slightly smaller than their Liger cousins.
A zebroid, also called zedonk, zebra mule, and zebrule is the offspring of any cross between a zebra and other equines. Zebras and equine animals are interesting hybrids because they may look similar, but they have different genetics which makes them far less likely than a hybrid of two species with more similar genetics.
A Grolar Bear is an offspring of a grizzly bear and a polar bear. They live near one another that’s why interbreeding is possible for them without the help of humans. Some experts say global warming can increase the population of grolar bears because the natural habitats of polar bears are being destroyed due to the melting of polar ice caps. Because of this, they tend to migrate away from the Arctic and live in the grizzly territory.
The offspring of a female donkey and a male horse is called Mule. All male mules and most of the female mules will not be fertile. They can be lightweight, medium weight, or even moderately heavy depending on the breeding of the mule’s dam. They are known to be useful on the farm because they hold a combination of the best aspects of horses and donkeys. They are believed to live longer and are more sure-footed than horses, and more intelligent and faster than donkeys.
The Savannah cat is the offspring of a domestic cat and a Serval – a large-eared and medium-sized African cat. They are becoming popular to breeders since the International Cat Association accepted the unusual breeding in 2001. Savannah cats are bigger and more social than other domestic cats. They can even be taught to play catch. So, if you want a friendly but unusual pet, then a Savannah cat might be perfect for you.
This is a hybrid between a male dromedary camel and a female llama. This is one example of species being bred in captivity because they have no chance of meeting in the wild. The first Cama was born in the Camel Reproduction Center in Dubai on January 14, 1998. The goal of breeding them was to create an animal that has the strength and size of a camel, but more cooperative, tamer and has higher wool production like the llama. However, it did not turn out that way because Camas are known to be bad-tempered like camels.
Beefalos are fertile hybrid offspring of a domestic cattle called Bos Taurus and the American Bison, which are bigger than traditional beef cows. They are bred to be able to create a combination of their characteristics which can be helpful in beef production because the meat of beefalos has lower cholesterol and fat compared to typical beef. Also, farmers say they cause less damage to the land than herds of cattle.
Blood parrot fish, also called parrot Cichlid, is a hybrid of the Gold Servum fish and redhead Cichlid or Red Devil Fish. It was first bred in Taiwan in 1986. This fish is controversial because it has many deformities such as having a small mouth that limits its ability to feed. Many breeders continue making this hybrid because people love to have colorful fish as pets. However, some argue that breeding them is unethical and should be stopped because of the deformities they suffer from like the difficulty in feeding them.
Aren’t these hybrids amazing? These are just a few of the incredible real-life animal hybrids. And who knows what other species people might think of cross-breeding next.