Over the years scientific technology has afforded us to experiment not just with non-living things but with animals and humans as well. Remember Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned animal? How about children born in vitro? These are just some of the scientific wonders that we have witnessed, and are still witnessing up to this day. Have you ever heard of animal crossbreeds? Have you seen a lion with stripes? Ligers and tigons have become attractions in zoos where they are held captive because of their unusual appearance.
There are others who confuse ligers and tigons, but what are they really? Here is the difference between a liger vs tigon. A ligon is the offspring of a male lion and a tigress, while a tigon is the offspring of a male tiger and a lioness. Here are other equally fascinating animal crossbreeds that you probably still don’t know about.
Liger or Tigon
A liger or a tigon can grow really big and heavy, and this type of crossbreeding can either happen naturally or through intervention. There are zoos that keep tigers and lions together in one cage, and when mating season begins, sometimes a lion mates with a tiger or vice versa, and the result is either a liger or a tigon. They are so nice to see – a lion with stripes, or a really big tiger that also has the characteristics of a lion.
Now this is one animal hybrid that we don’t often see and hear about – a cross between a grizzly bear and a polar bear. That is why when someone saw a strange-looking bear in the Canadian Arctic, it was shot dead and later identified as a grolar bear. Now who would expect a black polar bear? This hybrid is very rare, as there are not much polar and grizzly bears in captivity that can be mated together.
Here is another hybrid of the feline family, a cross between a leopard and a lion. This is a hybrid that most likely does not happen very often in the wild, as these two species of cats are known for their wild behaviors.
Zorse or Hebra
When a horse and zebra mate, the resulting offspring is either a zorse or a hebra. A striped horse may be fun to ride, eh? It’s just like riding a zebra, but bigger. But do not expect a zorse or a hebra mating with each other, because their kind is sterile, or they cannot produce their own offspring.
This is a cross between a bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale. This hybrid looks more like a dolphin than a whale, but slightly bigger, thanks to the size of the false killer whale. This hybrid has a very small number existing in the wild, meaning that they really are mating together. Amazing, isn’t it?
A llama looks like a small camel, with a smaller hump on its back. Camels and llamas are both camelids, This hybrid was bred through artificial insemination, and the resulting cama has the size of the llama, but the temperament of the camel, which was the opposite of what the scientists first aimed for when they bred the two animals.
Just from the derived name, you will already know what this hybrid’s parents are. Bred from a zebra and a donkey, most zonkeys have striped legs and their bodies are like that of donkeys. And just like hebras or zorses, they are also infertile. This type of hybrid can happen when the two animals are kept in close proximity of each other.
This is probably the hardest to breed, because they do not belong to the same species. Most geeps are stillborn; only a few survive and live to tell the tale. A geep can look more like a sheep than a goat.
When a male coyote and a female dog mate, the result is a coydog. This hybrid’s appearance is not much different from any of its parents, as they are both from the canine species. A reverse hybrid of a male dog and a female coyote is called a dogote.
A cross between a cow and American buffalo, the beefalo has less fat in its meat and lower in cholesterol, so it is better than regular beef. It is also stronger and can withstand extreme weather conditions. If only restaurants use beefalo in their burgers, we wouldn’t worry about eating too much of them.
These animal hybrids are a sight to see. And as you can notice, they only breed with one of their species. Wouldn’t it be nice to see even one of them in real life, like the liger or tigon?