Hybridization (also spelled hybridisation) refers to the process of producing offspring by mating two parents from different varieties or species. It is sometimes used synonymously with crossbreeding, which is defined as the process or the act of producing offspring particularly through mating two purebred individuals but come from different breeds or varieties, (sometimes, even species). It is usually done with intend of producing offspring that would acquire desired traits of the parent lineages. Hybridization is commonly done by breeders especially when the desired traits would be beneficial to the offspring, such as when its biological fitness is enhanced.
Types of Hybrid Animals
1. Mules And Hinny
Generally this is the most popular of animal hybrids. Mules are cross between a male donkey and a female horse whereas Hinny is a cross between a male horse and a female donkey. Mules and hinnies are usually sterile. Mules have traits from both parents with ears that are longer than a horse’s, but the same shape and combination-with coarse mane hair and a tail more horse-like.
Beefalo are the fertile offspring of domestic cattle and American bison. Crosses also exist between domestic cattle and European bison (zubrons) and yaks (yakows). This crossing has been practiced by farmers since the 1970s, because meat produced from beefalos contain less fat than that from cattle.
Liger is the name given to the offspring cross of a male lion and a female tiger. They are typically the largest of all living cats and felines. Some female ligers can grow between 4-8 feet in length and weigh more than 600 pounds. Ligers are quite different from tigons, the cross between a female lion and male tiger.
A tigon is the offspring of a cross between a male tiger with a female lion. Tigons are much smaller than ligers and they tend to be smaller than both of their parents and look like a lion, but with stripped fur. Tigons can only exist in captivity and are known to be sterile.
The Zonkey is a hybrid animal that is created by cross-breeding a male Zebra and a female donkey. Technically though, a species is classified only as a Zonkey if it is sired from a male Zebra and a female donkey. The one that is produced by cross-breeding a male donkey and female Zebra is referred to as a Zedonk. Zonkeys are not a true species (in other words sterile) because they have an odd number of chromosomes and cannot reproduce. While zonkeys are rare, they are bred in a number of zoos and specialized farms around the world.
A jaglion or jaguon is the offspring between a male jaguar and a female lion (lioness). Offspring produced by the opposite cross breeding a male lion and female jaguar are referred to as liguars.
A geep is a cross between a sheep and a goat. It is a rare species because goats and sheep each belong to different genera in the subfamily Caprinae of the family Bovidae.
8. Grolar Bear
Grolar Bear is the name used to describe the offspring of a grizzly bear and a polar bear, a grolar bear is unlike many other hybrid animals is that they are known to occur naturally in the wild.
Coywolf is a hybrid offspring of cross breeding Coyotes and wolves. Coywolf share many of the characteristics of their two parents and somewhere in between a coyote and a wolf in size when fully grown. Coywolves only emerged over the last century or so and have since spread successfully over much of eastern North America.
A zebroid is the offspring of a cross between a Zebra and other equine, usually a horse or a donkey. There are zorses, zonkeys, zebmule zonies and a host of other hybrids, many of which are used as working animals and all of which have varying degrees of unique zebra stripes. Zebroids are bred to get the best from both species.
11. Savannah Cat
Savannah cat is the name used to describe the offspring of a domestic cat and an African serval, a medium-sized, large-eared wild cat. Usually after the first breeding, the resulting cats are bred again in order to call the resulting hybrid domestic. Savannah cats are generally friendly and shy to some extent.
A wholphin is generally a cross between a false killer whale and an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. This species can survive perfectly in both captivity and in the wild. The Wolphin size, color, shape and many other physical characteristics are a blend of the parent species.
This species of Whale is a cross between Narwhals and beluga whales, the only two living species of the Monodontidae family. The two are similar in size, though narwhals are distinct in that they have a long, straight, spiraled tusk extending from their upper left jaw.
A cama is a hybrid of two animals from different continents-Camels from Asia and Llamas from South America. Both llamas and camel are both camelids that evolved from a common ancestor. Even of today, breeding of camels and llamas through artificial insemination, has been most successful with female llamas and male camels. Camas, which do not have the hump of camels, are smaller than camels, but larger and stronger than llamas.
A Dzo is a hybrid between domestic cattle and yaks. Dzo can be found in Mongolia and Tibet, where they are valued for both their milk and meat production. The word dzo technically refers to a male hybrid, while a female is known as a dzomo or zhom. Dzomo are fertile whereas dzo are sterile.
A leopon is a hybrid offspring created by cross-breeding a male leopard with a female lion (lioness). The head of this hybrid animal is similar to that of a lion while the rest of the body carries similarities to leopards. Leopons are produced in captivity and are unlikely to occur in the wild.
The mulard is a hybrid between two different genera of domestic duck: the domestic Muscovy and the domestic duck. While it is possible to produce mulards naturally, artificial insemination is used more often with greater success. The term mulard is generally reserved for offspring where the parental drake is a Muscovy and the duck is a Pekin. When the drake is a Pekin, the offspring tend to be smaller.
Zubron is a hybrid of domestic cattle and wisent. The Wisent is the European bison, hence the Zubron is analogous to the American beefalo. Zubron are heavy animals, with males weighing up to 1200kg and females up to 820kg. Males are infertile and can be crossbred with either parent species (i.e cattle or wisent) and males from these backcrosses are fertile.
Cheetoh is an offspring of crossbreeding Ocicat and the Bengal wild cat. Cheetoh cats can weigh more than 20 pounds. They are among the largest cat breeds ever developed and as they’re relatively new, they are also among the rarest.
A pumapardo is an offspring of cross-breeding a female leopard and a male puma. This hybrid animal is thinner than a cougar and has spotted leopard fur. Its legs are short and its general appearance is an intermediate between the two parent species.