For a long time, many people thought that hybrid animals existed only in mythology, but in fact, hybrid animals do actually exist in real life, and while there are many unique and fascinating animals around the world, there are perhaps none quite so unique and unusual as hybrid animals.
Hybrids are animals that are produced by two completely different species breeding together, which produces the hybrid offspring. A hybrid animal is also infertile in most cases which means that they cannot reproduce and therefore they are unable to create a completely new species.
It should be noted that they are completely different from a “cross-bred” or “mongrel” animal, such as you would find in dogs, for example, which is when two different breeds of the same animal produce offspring.
Not all species are able to create living hybrid offspring and many are born weak and die young. However, species that are fairly similar – such as donkeys, horses, and zebras, or lions, tigers, and leopards – do generally provide healthy hybrids. Of those that are born healthy, the hybrids usually have a mix of their parent’s looks and characteristics.
List of Hybrid Animals
- Mule – male donkey x female horse
- Liger – male lion x female tiger
- Tigon – male tiger x female lion
- Wholphin – false killer whale x dolphin
- Leopon – male leopard x female lion
- Beefalo – buffalo x cow
- Grolar Bear – grizzly bear x polar bear
- Jaglion – jaguar x lion
- Zebroid – zebra x horse
- Cama – camel x llama
- Coywolf – coyote x wolf
- Zonkey – zebra x donkey
Hybrid Animals with Facts & Pictures
Although they may appear to be the same cross of species, the hybrid name is dependant on which species is the mother and which is the father because the characteristics of the hybrid are usually determined more by the species which was the mother – hence Ligers and Tigons.
- Ligers (lion x tiger) are much bigger than either of their parents.
- It is almost impossible to find Ligers in the wild as lions and tigers don’t live in the same areas.
- Ligers like to swim, a trait inherited from their tiger mother.
- Tigons (tiger x lion) are much smaller than either of their parents.
- Wholphins (false killer whale x dolphin) have 66 teeth, which is the exact average of the dolphin’s 88 teeth and false killer whale’s 88 teeth.
- Wholphins grow much faster than their parents and by the time they are a few months old they are the size of a one year old dolphin.
- Leopons (leopard x lion) are about the same size as a lion but have shorter legs like the leopard.
- Camas (camel x llama) do not have humps and have fur very similar to that of the llama.
- A mule (horse x donkey) has the size of a horse and the sure-footedness and endurance of a donkey.
- Mules are not as stubborn as donkeys.
- Zebroids (zebra x horse) usually have the appearance of a horse but with faded zebra stripes which gives them a striking appearance.
- Grolar bears (grizzly x polar bear) are much poorer swimmers than polar bears which makes them ill-suited to living in the polar bear’s habitat.