Pattaya Daily News

25 August 2010 :: 14:08:44 pm 36509

Existence & Breeding of Hybrid Animals

Hybrids are the offspring of genetically dissimilar parents, a youngster from two different breeds. This is only possible if the sperm and egg of the parents are compatible and the two species must be closely related. Hybrids usually exist in captivity and are generally the result of human intervention, hybrids rarely occur naturally.
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Hybrids are sometimes bred purely out of curiosity, other times they are bred for scientific purposes such as research to learn about the genetics of an animal or if different animals are kept together in zoos, sometimes, a hybrid may be created. Intervention, such as the ‘Wolphin’ which is the product of a male killer whale and a female dolphin. The results, resembles that of a dolphin only larger.

Other animals that have been known to crossbreed naturally in the wild belong to what is known as the ‘Candid’ family which includes wolves, foxes and coyotes.  A hybrid has been found of a polar and a grizzly bear in Northwest Canada.

The ‘Chimeras’ is also listed as a hybrid, but this is not strictly so. A ‘Chimera’ is the result of two genetically different cells that has been fused together to form an embryo. These cannot occur naturally and are created only in laboratories. Scientists have combined the embryos of a sheep and a goat to create a ‘Geep’.  As with the hybrid, the ‘chimera’ must come from closely linked species.

The differences in the chromosome numbers in parent of different species used to produce a hybrid can very often result in the hybrid being born infertile. Although not easy, the female hybrid can often become pregnant, but the male hybrid is totally sterile. It is well known that the mule, which is a cross breed between a female horse and a male donkey is sterile as is a Liger and a Tigon hybrid male, while the female Tigons and Ligers are sterile.

The cross breeding of a buffalo and the cow, has produced a red meat that has is richer and tastier, higher in protein and lower in fat and cholesterol. Cross bred cattle, first appeared in the mid nineteenth century and has taken nearly one hundred years to become a success, producing a hardy strain after thousands of cattle died in a blizzard in 1888.

Crossing a Zebra with another equine (horse family) results in a ‘Zebroid’ and the breeding of these two animals began in the 19th century.  A Zebra crossed with a Mule is known as a ‘Zebrule’, a Zebra and a pony is a ‘Zony’.  Zebroids have been found to be more temperamental and difficult to handle than a Zebra.

Big cats such as the Tiger and Lion have been crossed bred and when the father is a lion the offspring is known as a ‘Liger’ , whereas if the father is a Tiger, the offspring is a ‘Tigon’ and the youngster is often smaller than both parents and the male offspring are infertile, the female are fertile. The ‘Leopon’ comes from a male leopard and a female lion with the first ever documented bred in India in 1910.

The polar bear and the grizzly are one of the few animals to have bred in the wild and in captivity with the offspring known as the ‘Grolar’.  DNA testing of an unusual looking bear that had been shot in the Canadian arctic in 2006, showed it to be a cross between a Polar and a Grizzly bear.

Photo : Internet   Category : Stories

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