Home Biology35 Hybrid Animal Species
BiologyBy Joe Burgett -

Pumapard

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via TatterTotter – Twitter]
  • Created By: Male Puma/Female Leopard OR Male Leopard/Female Puma

The Pumapard is a really compelling hybrid species. It combines the very useful things that the Leopard and Puma bring to the table. Of course, Pumas are better known by some as Cougars or Mountain Lions. Both big cats can get relatively large, yet size-wise, they are not too far off of one another. The Leopard, however, is notable for its spots. This transitions over to the Pumapard but the size does not.

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Redheaded Blackbelt]
These are two completely different cat species, unlike some big cat hybrids. Leopards belong to the Panthera line where Pumas are their own species entirely. This is likely why all Pumapards tend to be born with a form of dwarfism, unlike what you might see in Ligers who can get quite large. When familial lines differ too far, dwarfism tends to be a common result. Especially when it involves larger animals.

Rackelhahn

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Forum für Naturfotografen]
  • Created By: Western Capercaillie & Black Grouse

The Rackelhahn is quite an odd hybrid. Some feel it was formed to see what the result could be when two large game birds came together. The Western Capercaillie is actually the largest in the grouse family while the Black Grouse, also a large grouse in its own right, does not really have any distinct qualities. Some feel the Rackelhahn was created as an answer to what could happen if the Black Grouse were to go extinct. 

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Forum für Naturfotografen]
While it is not really in threat for that currently, there was a time when this was an issue. The Western Capercaillie experiences the same issues, which could be why scientists joined the two. If they could create a solid species, it could be formed in a lab without any potential extinction problems. However, the Rackelhahn is completely sterile. This could change with gene editing, which would allow a possible future for the species in the wild.

Coydog

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via The Dog Digest]
  • Created By: Male Coyote & Female Dog

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand what a Coydog is a hybrid of. Of course, you should remember that “Coydogs” typically come from the male coyote and female dog. It is quite compelling but breeding patterns differ between the two. Dogs do not have a season breeding period, likely due to centuries of domestication not requiring it. Coyotes do, which can make breeding male dogs with coyotes much harder to accomplish. 

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Ron Reznick – Digital-Images.net]
On top of this, male coyotes actually tend to their litter whereas male dogs do not. This can lead to a better outcome of survival for pups in the wild if they did indeed breed there. Due to the closeness of the species, Coydog hybrids are actually fertile and can successfully breed through four generations. It is stated the first Coydog hybrids were likely bred as far as 12,000 to 14,000 years ago too.

Khonorik 

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Andrew Ives]
  • Created By: Polecat & Mink

The Khonorik is a cross-species of the European Polecat & European Mink. While today the hybrid version of this species is incredibly rare in the wild, it was not really as uncommon about 100 years ago. They actually began mating in the wild during the early 20th Century as the Northern part of Europe began experiencing a rise in temperature, creating a warmer climate. Polecats were able to expand their range as a result, leading to a collision with mink habitats.

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Reddit]
In an interesting twist of fate, Khonoriks are able to have a lot of good from both. They swim well like the mink while they dig and burrow for food well like polecats. However, they are extremely hard to tame and/or breed. Females of the species are actually fertile too. Polecats and Minks were eventually bred together in captivity due to their offspring’s fur being more valuable than either of its parents. The first captive-bred version was done by Dmitry Ternovsky of Novosibirsk in 1978.

Catalina Macaw

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via thesprucepets.com]
  • Created By: Scarlet Macaw & Blue-And-Gold Macaw

The Catalina Macaw is known to be quite a beautiful bird. While it is possible that some are in the wild right now, it’s unlikely. The reason being, most macaws differ in the groups they tend to hang out with. They are usually going to be with those similar to them, ruining common mixing that you’d possibly come across in other species. This is especially true for the Scarlet Macaw & Blue-And-Gold Macaw.

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Redbubble]
They are not often in the same areas in South America but could come across the other in the wild. Their hybrid would be known as a Catalina Macaw, which tends to take the traits of both parents. Sometimes, they’ll come out with around 2 to 3 colors but several come out with all major colors of their parents, with one color being dominant. As of now, the only known Catalina Hybrids are in captivity with breeders around the world.

Sturddlefish

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Bugged Space]
  • Created By: American Paddlefish & Russian Sturgeon

While it is possible that a sturgeon and paddlefish could mate, it’s incredibly unlikely they would due to their geographic locations. If they did, their hybrid offspring would be called the Sturddlefish, and it’s one incredibly unique creature. Both the American Paddlefish & Russian Sturgeon are endangered. This led to programs being done to breed both in captivity. The hope was to preserve both species…but they never realized what would happen.

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via The New York Times]
Researchers in Hungary were part of those conducting experiments. Not all sea creatures can breed in captivity, so this was a crapshoot for sure. During this ordeal, they used sperm from a paddlefish with a female sturgeon. The idea was that it would act as a “control” when fertilizing the eggs later with sturgeon sperm. Researchers then essentially created the Sturddlefish on accident, and have continued making them.

Lonicera Fly

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Zoology.ubc.ca]
  • Created By: Blueberry Maggot & Snowberry Maggot

Flies are kind of odd, but sometimes it is good to push the creation of more due to how important they can be for an entire ecosystem. Flys do serve a role in our world, but we usually tend to get all we need from the current. Why would anyone want to create a hybrid version of one? Funny enough, scientists are not responsible for the creation of the Lonicera Fly. This is a North American Fruit Fly that was first introduced in America at some point in the last 250 years. 

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via BugGuide.net]
Many believe it was brought over to America on ornamental plants, making the origin likely somewhere in Europe. These particular flies tend to feed on berries from honeysuckles, also introduced in America in the last 250 years. It is widely assumed that flies came with the honeysuckle, and it could be that some breeding took place between both Blueberry and Snowberry maggots. They are now pretty widespread in North America.

Wolfdog

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via thesprucepets.com]
  • Created By: Wolf & Dog

Wolves and Dogs do not commonly come across the other in the wild as most dogs tend to be domesticated. However, this was not always the case. In fact, in places like Russia and Australia, there are a ton of wild dogs. The same can be said for certain sections across Africa today. In North America and Europe, dogs have been living alongside several wolf species for thousands of years. This has led to several instances of Wolfdogs. The only known wolves to have mated with domestic dogs are the Gray, Eastern, Red, and Ethiopian wolf species. 

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Pets4Homes]
Thus far, they seem to be the only ones that have produced a viable hybrid. Wolfdogs are common even today, with at least 100,000 living in the United States. Unlike some hybrids, Wolfdogs are reasonably healthy with many not being sterile. The Wolfdog temperament is truly hit and miss, as they can be unpredictable due to having traits from both canine species. That has resulted in several problematic encounters with the Wolfdog over the years, even those at a 3rd generation standing. Yet they do not tend to kill humans and tend to only injure most.

African-Asian Elephant

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via ShukerNature – Blogspot]
  • Created By: Male African Elephant & Female Asian Elephant

While it is really uncommon to see African and Asian Elephants mate in the wild, they have done so in captivity. It has been claimed for years that zoos and circuses bred the two different elephant types but those are not confirmed. However, the Straight-Tusked Elephant (now extinct) did breed with an Asian Elephant according to recovered DNA. In more recent history, the Chester Zoo in Cheshire is the only place that bred an African & Asian Elephant to create a proven hybrid. 

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via ShukerNature – Blogspot]
The calf was named Motty when he was born in 1978 to an African Elephant Father & Asian Elephant mother. The young elephant had features quite similar to both elephant types. This includes cheeks, ears, and legs from its father and nail numbers as well as a single trunk finger, like its mother. The overall body was African while also containing an Asian center hump. Sadly, Motty died after only 10 days, due to necrotizing enterocolitis and E. Coli. Since Motty, there have not been any confirmed successful African/Asian Elephant hybrids.

Fujian Pond Turtle

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via China Plus – China Radio International]
  • Created By: Asian Yellow Pond Turtle & Golden Coin Turtle

The Fujian Pond Turtle is quite interesting, as scientists did not realize it was a hybrid species at first. That led to the species being put on the IUCN Red List. When its origin became known, they removed it from the list as hybrids are not allowed. The Fujian is a cross between an Asian Yellow Pond Turtle & Golden Coin Turtle. Usually, to be around as long as it has, one would assume that it is a fertile hybrid. That is not the case, however.

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via China Plus – China Radio International]
All the males seem to be infertile thus far, but females are more than capable of birthing offspring with other turtle types. That could be why we’ve only ever seen single specimens of the Fujian Pond Turtle, often in places where hybridization could very well occur in the wild among the two turtle types. The hybrid will likely remain in low numbers due to male infertility, but we’re certainly going to see a lot of other turtle types if the females breed in the wild.

Naked Neck 

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via BackYard Chickens]
  • Created By: Naked Neck & Other Game Birds

Who in their right mind would want to make a hybrid creation between a chicken and a turkey? Were they wanting to make sure Thanksgiving was more eventful? The Turken, also known as the Naked Neck or Naked Chicken, was bred originally in Transylvania. However, it was also bred in Romania and Germany too, all unrelated to the other. Funny enough, it did not begin as a hybrid. People actually confuse it for being a cross between a turkey and chicken.

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Reddit]
Naked Necks were known for having one dominant gene, making it easy to introduce into other breeds. That results in hybrids rather than other true Naked Necks. In fact, the breed has been recognized by the American Poultry Association since 1965. This hybrid breed was first introduced in Britain in the 1920s. The gene dominance continues to lead to more Naked Necks across the planet, thus making more random hybrids. The more breeding they do, the more common the species will be.

Borneo Bateater 

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via MorphMarket]
  • Created By: Burmese Python & Reticulated Python

When you hear the name “Borneo Bateater,” it should start some small fear inside. It might surprise you to find out that this is a hybrid snake too. Two pythons come together to make it possible, the Burmese Python & Reticulated Python. They are the two most common python snakes on the planet and their hybrid offspring is a constrictor just as they are. Considered kind of an exotic pet, the Borneo Bateater is very common in the pet trade business.

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via MorphMarket]
This makes it kind of a black market pet (although many are sold legally). There are some that were released into the wild, causing places like South Florida to see a huge snake problem. This hybrid snake is similar to both pythons, making it relatively large. It’s fat, strong, and can kill several animals..even humans. The hope is that we can find all of the hybrid snakes and remove them from the wild before they drastically affect the area negatively.

Cuban-American Crocodile

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via PBS]
  • Created By: American Crocodile & Cuban Crocodile

Crocodiles do not traditionally breed with different croc types in the wild. This is especially true regarding the Cuban Croc and American Croc. However, they will at times meet up due to climate change causing many to move around. As a result, we have a hybrid species simply called the Cuban-American Crocodile. It has become a huge problem in American waters, becoming a well-known invasive species.

35 Hybrid Animal Species
[Image via Repeating Islands]
In Cuban waters, it has led to the Cuban Croc species slowly dying off. As of 2011, the species is now down to a believed 4,000, making it officially part of the endangered species list. That has resulted in some attempts to catch the hybrid species and remove it from Cuban waters. As of now, there are still many out there. It is uncertain if all of the Cuban-American crocodiles were bred in the wild or if they were introduced by scientists. However, they could lead to Cuban croc extinction.

 

 

 

Sources: [Science.com, National Geographic, Science Magazine, Discover Magazine, USA Today, New York Times, BBC, The Atlantic, Science Daily, ModernFarmer.com]

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