Cross-breed or hybrid, in biology, refers to a result of sexual reproduction and its result between two plants or animals belonging to different species, genera, varieties or breeds. The process of hybridization can only be successful if the genes of both the species are the same. This will allow the combination of both these genes to form an embryo. Most of the hybrid animals are crossbred due to genetic research or mere curiosity. It should also be noted that this phenomenon is not a natural occurrence. It only happens when the animals are put together in captivity and the mating partner for the same species is not present. Some of the most widely known hybrid animals are listed in this article.
A tigon hybrid is the result of mating between a male tiger and a lioness. The mane of a male tigon is relatively shorter than the mane of a lion. The mane does not grow long because there are growth-inhibitory genes that the species inherits from its mother. Another rare hybrid is the second-generation tigon that is called the litigon (offspring of a tigon and a lion). It first appeared in Alipore, India in 1971. In a zoo, a female tigon mated with an Asiatic lion. The same pair mated several times and gave birth to seven litigons.
A liger is a hybrid between a Tigress and a male lion. A liger may only exist when it is in captivity. It is typically larger in size than both of its parents. It is also bigger than a tigon. In fact, it is the biggest cat in the whole world with a maximum length of 3.5 meters. Biologists suggest that the liger’s large size, or “growth dysplasia,” results from the absence of certain growth-limiting genes. This hybrid has been in existence since the 18th century.
A zorse is a hybrid between a horse and a zebra. A zorse is also part of a wider category of hybrids known as zebroids. There is zonkey, zebrule, and zedonk. Usually, these species are sterile which makes it impossible to produce second-generation offspring. The breeding of zorse has been going on since the 19th century mainly for practical use. During the war in South Africa, ponies and zebras were mated to produce an animal that would be best for transport. The mating was carried out keeping into consideration the fact that zebras are immune to sleeping sickness whereas ponies do not have such qualities.
A leopon is the hybrid offspring of a male leopard and a female lion. The head of the animal is similar to that of a lion while the rest of the body carries similarities to leopards. These hybrids are produced in captivity and are unlikely to occur in the wild. The first documented leopon was bred at Kolhapur, India in 1910. Its skin was sent to Reginald Innes Pocock by Walter Samuel Millard, the Secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society.
It is a hybrid between a donkey and a zebra. In 1973, donkeys and zebras were mated within the Jerusalem zoo to create a breed that would be immune to diseases and would be used as a draft animal. Presently, they are mostly being bred in Africa so that they can be used for trekking on Mount Kenya. They are very successful because they are resistant to several diseases that are common in that area.
The Savannah cat is a hybrid between a domestic cat and a serval. It is considered as the closest species to the domestic wild cat. It is a breed of an African wild cat and a normal cat. The F 1 male cat is the largest species of this kind. In behavior, the Savannah cat is more similar to a dog. It can be trained to carry out certain acts like walking on a leash and fetching objects. It is a social animal and is usually friendly to new people as well as other dogs and cats. It also possesses rather astonishing jumping abilities. They are also not afraid of the water.
Grolar Bear Or Pizzly
A grizzly–polar bear hybrid is a rare ursid hybrid that has occurred both in captivity and in the wild. In 2006, the occurrence of this hybrid in nature was confirmed by testing the DNA of a unique-looking bear that had been shot near Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories on Banks Island in the Canadian Arctic. The occurrence of this hybrid in natural environments is still the topic of research.
A dzo (also spelled zo, zho, and dzho) is a hybrid between the yak and domestic cattle. The word dzo technically refers to a male hybrid, while a female is known as a dzomo or zhom. In Mongolian, it is called khainag. There is also the English language portmanteau term of yattle, a combination of the words yak and cattle, as well as yakow, a combination of the words yak and cow.
A wholphin is an extremely rare cetacean hybrid born from a mating of a female common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with a male false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). The name implies a hybrid of whale and dolphin, although taxonomically, both are within the “oceanic dolphin” family, which is within the “toothed whale” suborder. Wholphins have been born in captivity and also reported in the wild. It a very rare hybrid that was first recorded in Tokyo. However, the species could not survive for more than 200 days. It is a fertile species and can reproduce. They can also be seen at the Sea Life Park in America.
Magalitsa Or Sheep-Pig
This is not a hybrid in a strict sense. However, it is a natural pig breed that has descended from the wild boar. In specific terms, it is a cross between a European wild boar and a Hungarian pig. Like sheep, this breed possesses a hairy fleece which is why it is called a sheep-pig.
This is a hybrid between a wolf and a domestic dog. Wolfdogs have been around for quite a long time. In fact, there is evidence that they existed around 10,000 years ago. Presently, this breed is produced used as military dogs or simply companion dogs. Famous examples are the Czechoslovakian wolf dog and the German Shepherd.