Suppose you’re curious to learn about the world’s weirdest hybrid animals. In that case, this exciting list will surely enlighten you!
You’ll learn about some funny hybrid animals, from the ridiculously expensive Savannah cat to the bizarre sea slug.
Not only that, but you’ll also learn about many curious animal cross breeding, like the jaglion and the leopon. You’ll also be surprised to know how many agricultural hybrids there are, like the dzo!
What Is A Hybrid Animal?
A hybrid offspring, or hybrid animal, if you will, is the result of a crossbreed of animals from different varieties, like a lion and a leopard.
When two distinct types of organisms breed with each other, the resulting hybrids typically have intermediate traits of the combined animals. For example, one parent has brown fur, the other has white, and the hybrid has beige fur.
Hybrids commonly combine traits seen only separately in one parent or the other. For example, a bird hybrid might combine the yellow head of one parent with the orange belly of the other.
Hybridization in animals can happen in the wild when their ranges overlap, or it can happen through artificial insemination for commercial reasons.
19 Hybrid Animals That Actually Exist!
Here’s a list of fascinating mixed animals divided by biological family.
Zubrons are a Polish specialty, as they were first created in Poland as far back as 1847!
They are hybrid animals that first emerged when humans began to breed domestic cattle with the wisent, a species of European bison.
The zubron owes its name to the fact that the wisent is called the żubr in Polish, hence the decision to name it the zubron decided through a Polish magazine competition held in 1969.
Zubrons, much like the American Beefalo, are very hardy and aren’t as susceptible to the illnesses that afflict regular cattle.
Since we’ve mentioned the zubron, it’s the perfect time to discuss its cousin breed, the beefalo.
As aforementioned, the beefalo is a fertile offspring with truly American origins. Of course, it goes without saying that beefalo is what happens when you cross the American Bison and regular cattle.
Beefalos are both the product of human intervention and nature just taking its course. As far back as the 1700s, the beefalo emerged when colonists brought European cattle to North America.
However, the modern beefalo appeared in a breeding program in the 1970s and only has 37% buffalo ancestry.
The dzo is an incredibly hardy, productive, and strong hybrid creature born from a crossing between the wild yak and the domestic cow.
They are native to the plains and mountains of Tibet and Mongolia, where they are bred to be pack animals and livestock.
Interestingly, the female equivalent of the dzo hybrid, the dzomo, can produce healthy offspring, whereas the male is almost always infertile.
In addition, dzos often handle more extreme weather conditions and altitude changes than their parent species.
The cama, a cross between a male dromedary camel and a female llama, has quite a long history dating back to the late 19th century.
However, the hybrid only became officialized in 1998 when scientists produced it at Dubai’s Camel Reproduction Centre.
The only surviving offspring had been born from a llama whose egg had been artificially inseminated with the sperm of a camel.
As this was both a scientific and commercial endeavor, the study aimed to produce a version of a camel capable of producing more wool compared to the smaller llama.
It also meant the offspring was tamer and less aggressive than its camel parent.
It might surprise you, but the coyote and the wolf are very closely related species!
So, due to their overlapping habitat ranges in much of North America, these often breed with one another, thus creating the coywolf!
As a result, millions of coywolves are scattered around the continent, especially on the eastern coast.
Coywolves are much larger than the typical coyote, with longer legs, denser fur, and a stockier frame. However, coywolves also retain the coloration and muzzle shape of coyotes.
The extremely rare wholphins are a hybridized form of the false killer whale and the common bottlenose dolphin.
The parents are a male whale and a female dolphin, respectively, as seen with Kekaimalu, the first wholphin to live past birth.
Strangely, unlike most hybrid animals, Kekaimalu had several offspring that managed to survive.
It’s important to note that the wholphins can be born in both the wild and captivity, unlike Kekaimalu, born in Honolulu’s Sea Life Park.
In addition, most wholphins are much larger than their mother dolphins, and they usually resemble whales in size, fins, and coloring.
The narluga is a dazzling combination of a male beluga whale and a mythical-looking female narwhal, known for its unicorn-like horn!
However, unlike the narwhal, most narlugas don’t inherit their parent’s horn. Instead, narlugas resemble narwhals in their tails and belugas in their distinctive head shape.
Narlugas are typically grey all over, a mix of the narwhal’s dark spotted skin and the beluga’s bright white skin.
These hybrid animals occur naturally as narwhals and belugas share hunting grounds, have similar social structures, and have even been seen swimming with one another!
Zorses, like the similar zonkey, a cross of the zebra and the donkey, result from a female zebra and a male horse mating with one another.
This often happens due to the introduction of domesticated horses to eastern and southern Africa, whereby they interact with zebras in grazing areas.
These hardy animals typically look different from each other on a case-by-case basis, as dozens of horse breeds are used in the region.
However, they usually have zebra stripes overlaid on the coat color of the horse parent. Most zorses have the muzzle shape and coloring of their zebra parent, too!
The zonkey, the more well-known alternative to the zorse, has a male zebra and a female donkey as its parents.
Much like the zorse, these hybrid animals have a similar origin story. However, they are born zebras who mated with donkeys instead of horses.
Zonkeys have a similar weight and height range to both donkeys and horses and are, on average, in the middle of these species ranges.
They also look similar to the zorse in appearance with similar coloration, with base coats typically black, brown, or grey.
The zorse also has the donkey’s muzzle and long ears, coupled with a sturdy build.
The hinny is the cute result of crossbreeding between female donkeys and male horses, unlike the classic mule, which is the opposite pairing (a male donkey and a female horse).
However, this hybrid animal, quite like the mule, is sterile. But, make no mistake, their fertility is traded for increased cooperation, hardiness, and strength.
Hinnies are also much more resilient to illnesses that would affect both horses and donkeys.
This hybrid also does not have to consume as much food to feel full compared to its parent species. Thus, hinnies are more affordable to own as farm animals than horses and donkeys.
Since these species never come across each other in the wild, they only exist in zoos. As ligers are a crossbreed of animals, they are almost always incapable of having offspring.
The liger is not only one of the world’s most extraordinary hybrid animals but also one of the largest!
Some female ligers can grow up to 10 feet long and clock in at over 900 lbs. Some reports even state a mind-boggling 1,000 lbs!
Interestingly, there are only 100 ligers worldwide, making them rare animals!
Did you know? Hercules, the largest non-obese liger, is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest living cat on Earth, weighing 922 lb.
Like the liger, the tigon is also a hybrid animal in the big cats’ world; however, unlike the liger, a tigon is the result of the opposite scenario!
Hence, tigons result from crossing a male tiger and a female lion.
As a result, tigons, as mixed animals, unusually have an appearance more similar to their tiger parent.
Tigons are drastically smaller in size compared to the liger. This is theorized to happen because the liger is thought to inherit a form of gigantism that prevents the stopping of growth.
Therefore, the tigon, which did not inherit this trait, is only around 4 to 9 ft in length and can weigh up to about 500 lbs.
Sometimes, it seems like the only hybrid animals that exist are that of big cats. Well, with the leopon hybrid, it, indeed, continues the trend!
The beautiful leopon looks just like both of its parents: a male leopard and a female lion. Leopons are much larger than the typical leopard, yet do not weigh as much as a lion.
The leopon owes its stunning body coloration to the leopard and its head to the lion, making it look like a child’s drawn interpretation of a hybrid!
Leopons are only found in captivity as their parent breeds who live alongside each other in grasslands are extremely unlikely to breed with one another.
The jaglion also possesses the astonishing bite force of the jaguar, clocking at around 2,000 pounds per square inch. Keep in mind that the lion’s is only 600!
Jaglions are only found in zoos since the jaguar is a New World cat found in Central and South America. In contrast, the lion is only native to Africa.
This hybrid animal is the product of mating between a male jaguar and a lioness. Therefore, they almost always are born due to accidental crossbreeding in captivity.
Now, owning this luxurious cat breed is not for the faint of heart! The Savannah cat is one of the most expensive cat breeds, with some costing up to $20,000!
Savannah cats are hybrid animals and are what happens when you cross the feisty yet beautiful African serval with your everyday house cat.
These cat hybrids are naturally larger than the average housecat, with some weighing up to 25 lbs!
They have an athletic yet elegant build, long legs, and smooth spotted coats. Unlike most domesticated cats, they are very active yet reserved regarding strangers, so expect them to be one-person cats!
More Animals That Are Hybrid
Also known as the pizzly bear, the grolar bear is certainly a majestic hybrid animal; however, it is the product of an ongoing global issue: climate change!
Grolar bears are the consequence of the habitat expansion of the grizzly bear and the polar bear, as the sea ice melts and the species begin to hunt in each other’s territories.
Grolar bears are typically found in the frozen tundra of Canada’s Northwest Territories and the Canadian zones inside the Arctic Circle.
Even though only a handful of recorded grolar bears have been found over the decades, their numbers gradually increase as climate change worsens.
Unlike the similar-sounding car, the geep isn’t quite as hardy. This rare combination of domesticated goats and sheep usually only lives for a short time past birth.
This is usually when the goat parent is female and much smaller than the sheep! However, if they survive, they become pretty interesting animals!
These mixed animals usually have the long, textured coat of a sheep and the coloration, head, and horns of a goat.
Some geeps look completely like lambs, which are baby sheep. However, you shouldn’t be surprised when you find one that looks like they’re the lost baby of an alpaca!
Green Sea Slug
Despite its somewhat boring scientific name, Elysia chlorotica, the green sea slug is one of the weirdest and most fascinating hybrids.
In fact, this hybrid is technically a hybrid of an animal and a plant, as it’s a crossbreed of a sea slug and slug algae.
The green sea slug is a product of genetic research whereby the cells of slug algae are implanted into the sea slug.
Chloroplasts, the photosynthesizing organs of the slug algae, are incorporated into the green sea slug, enabling it to produce food from sunlight. This then turns the sea slug green!
Mulard ducks are a combination of the classic domesticated Pekin duck and the Muscovy duck. Mulards, as hybrids, are bred to produce more eggs and meat than both of their parent ducks.
These animals are a classic example of ‘hybrid vigor’ as they are more vigorous and larger than non-hybrids.
This hybrid is often born because of artificial insemination. They are often bred to be raised for meat production or Foie Gras.
Summary of Hydrid Animals
Zubron = Cow + Bison
Beefalo = American bison + Bull
Dzo = Cow + Wild Yak
Cama = Llama + Camel
Coywolf = Coyote + Wolf
Wholphin = Dolphin + False Killer Whale
Narluga = Narwhal + Beluga Whale
Zorse = Zebra + Horse
Zonkey = Donkey + Zebra
Hinny = Donkey + Horse
Liger = Tiger + Lion
Tigon = Lion + Tiger
Leopon = Lion + Leopard
Jaglion = Lion + Jaguar
Savanna Cat = Domestic Cat + African Serval
Grolar Bear = Polar Bear + Brown Bear
Geep = Goat + Sheep
Green Sea = Slug Algae + Slug
Mulard = Pekin + Muscovy Duck