Below is collection of bizarre hybrid animals with interesting hybridized namesakes. The majority of these animals do not occur naturally in the wild and have been bred by humans which has stirred much controversy and criticism. For most of these animals, while successfully crossed, the offspring tend to be infertile, meaning their continuation as a hybrid is solely determined by human intervention.
1. Zebra + Any other Equine = Zebroid
A zebroid (also zedonk, zebra mule, and zebrule) is the offspring of any cross between a zebra and any other equine: essentially, a zebra hybrid. In most cases, the sire is a zebra stallion. Zebroid is the generic name for all zebra hybrids. The different hybrids are generally named using the portmanteau convention of sire’s name + dam’s name. There is generally no distinction made as to which zebra species is used. Examples include: zorse, zebrule, zonkey, zebonkey, zony.
2. Lion + Tiger = Liger
The liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion (Panthera leo) and a tigress (Panthera tigris). Thus, it has parents with the same genus but of different species. It is distinct from the similar hybrid tiglon. It is the largest of all known extant felines.
Ligers enjoy swimming, which is a characteristic of tigers, and are very sociable like lions. Ligers exist only in captivity because the habitats of the parental species do not overlap in the wild. Historically, when the Asiatic Lion was prolific, the territories of lions and tigers did overlap and there are legends of ligers existing in the wild. Notably, ligers typically grow larger than either parent species, unlike tiglons which tend to be about as large as a female tiger.
3. Bottlenose Dolphin + False Killer Whale = Wholphin
A Wholphin or Wolphin is a rare hybrid, born from a mating of a female Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with a male False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens).
Part whale, part dolphin – the existence of wholphins has been the stuff of seafaring legends for centuries. Taxonomically, both come from the oceanic dolphin family within the toothed whale suborder, so the hybrid is not uncommon
A hybrid between domestic cattle and yaks, dzo can be found in Mongolia and Tibet, where they are prized for both their milk and meat production.
They are an example of heterosis, or hybrid vigour, a genetic phenomenon where the offspring of such a union are larger and stronger than their parents. Female dzo are known as dzomo. Generally, dzo are called khainag in Mongolia. Or yakow, the English portmanteau.
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