Friday, June 22, 2007

Zeedonks, Beefalos, & Wolphins

The title of this post is the names of some lesser known intra-specific hybrid animals (check the link for more), namely a cross between a Zebra and donkey (aka zonkey), a cattle/bison cross, and a rare cross of a False Killer Whale and a Bottlenose Dolphin. Of course, the most common and well known hybrid is the mule, a cross between a horse and a donkey. Most intra-specific hybrid animals are sterile as a result that they can not produce viable gametes through meiosis because of a lack of homologous chromosomes. Since a hybrid has one set from one animal and one set from another they don't pair up properly during metaphase, they most often also have a different number of chromosomes to begin with. Some animal hybrids are fertile however such as the female tigon.
From Napoleon Dynamite:

Deb: What are you drawing?
Napoleon: A liger.
Deb: What's a liger?
Napoleon: It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed. Bred for its skills in magic.

Napoleon dynamite was a bit of a dweeb (magic is an innate or learned ability and not a skill) but a liger is pretty awesome. Check out this video that will make you respect the liger.
I guess I was thinking about this since someone mentioned that they had heard of a cat/rabbit cross. They are mythical and probably don't exist although there are lots of breeds of rabbits that have cat like appearance. They don't exist but that's not from lack of trying.