Nature has always been prepared to mix and match, seeking out the best qualities in a species to pass on to future generations. It sometimes happens that creatures which belong to the same genre families come into contact, though rarely, and manage to successfully breed. The results of such matings can be stunningly attractive, as this article hopes to show.
1 The stunning Liger
A hybrid cross, resulting from a mating of a male Lion and a female Tiger, the Liger, scientifically named ‘Panthera tigris’, is a truly glorious animal to look at, resembling an enormous lion, having the distinctive Tiger stripes. These amazing creatures are the largest cats in the world, Siberian being the largest pure sub-species. Ligers take an enjoyment of swimming from the Tiger genes, and hybrids which result from male tiger,female lion couplings are called Tigons.
2. The lovely Leopon
Matings involving male Leopards and female Lions produce lovely offspring, known as Leopons, or in the reverse scenario, Lipards. These lovely creatures may not exist in the wild, as the leopards are too fearful of their larger cousins, but have been bred at Koshien Hanshin Park in Nishinomiya, Japan. This occurred around 1960, one of the cubs surviving over 20 years, somewhat longer than might be expected for a leopard or a lion, averaging 13 years, in captivity.
3. The truly grand Grolar
One type of bear hybrid, though rare, has occurred both in the wild and in captivity, when Polar and Grizzly bears mated. That this took place in nature received confirmation in 2006, when DNA testing , of a bear that had been shot on Banks Island in the Canadian arctic, and seemed unfamiliar to the shooter, proved it beyond doubt. These are called Ursid hybrids, and are happening more as Polar bears and Grizzlies cross paths mor often because of global warming.
4. The wonderful Wolfin
The slightly scary sounding Wolphin is a rare hybrid, occurring only when mating takes place between a false Killer Whale and a bottlenose dolphin. Only two of these intriguing beasts live currently in captivity, existing happily in pools at Hawaii’s Sea Life Park. In color,size, and shape, the Wolphin is halfway between the parent species, even to the extent that, while bottlenose dolphins have 88 teeth, compared to the 44 possessed by the,false killerwhale, Wolphins have exactly 66!
5. The superbly stunning Zebroid
These gorgeous and gregarious beasts are always the result of matings involving a zebra and any other type of horse, and are, of course, in essence zebra hybrids. Normally a zebra stallion is the sire, and while matings between donkey sires and zebra mares do happen, the resulting zebra hinnies are quite rare. . Zebroids, however, have been successfully bred for almost 200 years,since the 19th century, and can be very unusual in coloring, though most are fairly similar
6. The beautiful Beefalo
It was decided by US breeders, some years ago now, that the extra lean meat produced by Buffaloes was something they wanted to achieve with their cows, so a program of cross breeding was started, the resulting offspring being called Beefaloes. The resultant beefalo meat was indeed lower both in fat and cholesterol than beef itself, and the delighted farmers began to increase production. Having, reputedly, a richer, milder and sweeter taste than beef, this product will almost certainly grow in popularity, as time goes by.
7. The uniquely curious Cama
The last hybrid animal that we feature here resulted from managing to get llama and a camel to mate, quite a feat considering that one is six times bigger than the other! The offspring, the Cama, born in 1995, has proved so far to be the only creature of her kind, being humpless, with long fluffy fur, like the llama parent, but with ears midway in size between the parent animals, and strong, desert-ready legs, like those of the camel parent.
Savannah cat – Serval crossed with domestic breed.