My goal to learn something new every day
Many people are probably already familiar with mules: The offspring of a male donkey (also known as a jack, which I didn’t know) and a female horse (a mare, which I did know). But I recently found out about a different type of hybrid animal. When a male zebra mates with a female horse, the result is a zorse! Coolest name for an animal (maybe)?
So today, I wondered what other cross-bred animals there might be. Here’s what I found.
This one is similar to a mule, except that a hinny is the offspring of a female donkey (a jenny) and a male horse (a stallion). Hinnies are less common than mules because the two different species have different numbers of chromosomes. Donkeys have 62, while horses are 64. Mules are more common because it is easier to produce an equine hybrid when the male parent has fewer chromosomes, as is the case with mules (Wikipedia).
A wholpin is the offspring of a female bottlenose dolphin and a male false killer whale (false killer whales get their name because they appear similar to killer whales, but are not the same animal). Currently, there is only one known wholpin in the world, and it is at Sea Life World in Hawaii. However there are reports that there might be some wholpins living in the wild.
A grolar bear is a cross between a polar and a grizzly bear. This type of bear has been observed in the wild as well as in captivity, and actually has a number of other names, such as a grizzly-polar bear hybrid, a prizzly bear or a Polar-Grizz. There is no single agreed upon name for the bear, and, according to Wikpedia, officials in Canada have suggested calling the bear a nanulak, which is a combination of the Inuit words nanuk (polar bear) and aklak (grizzly bear).
Tigons (also tiglons) are a cross between a male tiger and a female lioness. The other way around, with a male lion and female tiger, results in a liger. Ligers can grow to be massive and are recognised as the largest cats in the world. Ligers only exist in captivity because tigers and lions don’t occupy the same geographical regions in the wild.
While ligers grow to be very big, pumapards are the opposite, and tend to be dwarves. A pumapard is a cross between a puma and a leopard. The sex of the parents does not matter because pumapards are the offspring of either a male puma and female leopard, or male leopard and female puma.
When a male zebra mates with a female horse, we get a zorse. When a donkey mates with a zebra, we get a zeedonk, sometimes called a zonkey. There are also zonys (zebra and ponies). Collectively, this group of hybrids are known as zebroids.
There are of course many other hybrids, but these are the six that I found most interesting. My criteria? Generally funny sounding names.