You must log in or register to comment.

ConnoisseurOfDanger t1_j2qmxgb wrote

Yes, it's actually a pretty standard avenue toward speciation, aka the recognition of a new species

It's more common in plants but it happens in animals as well. Hybrid animals actually can sometimes reproduce (that's how they can become a new species, after all), depending on the genetic qualities of the parents. Ligers (lion-tigers) are fertile and can mate with other ligers, tigers, or lions. The well-known example of the sterile mule is due to the fact that horses and donkeys donate 32 and 31 chromosomes to their offspring, respectively, so the child of a donkey-horse pairing (a mule) will have an odd number of chromosomes, leaving them unable to reproduce.


qwertyuiiop145 t1_j2raux5 wrote

Only female ligers are fertile, males are sterile. This is part of why we still consider lions and tigers to be different species not subspecies


Lankpants t1_j2rcfmh wrote

There are examples of animals that are considered different species that also produce fertile offspring. The most well known one is the grizzly and polar bear, but it's also quite common amongst whales.


ReaperofFish t1_j2rmcoq wrote

Coyotes and wolves have fertile offspring but still considered separate species.

There is debate about whether wolves and dogs are separate species or not.


phalloguy1 t1_j2t1ybz wrote

I remember reading maybe 15 years ago a wildlife biologist in Ontario referring to this hybrid as Canis Soupus.


DooDooSlinger t1_j2ymtme wrote

Yes - but animals which can't cross breed are definitely different species, that's what they meant. It is sufficient but not necessary.


Krail t1_j2uwfob wrote

The coywolf is also an up-and-coming hybrid. A mix of coyote, dog, and two different wolf species that is becoming increasingly common.


Antique-me1133 t1_j2xu4dk wrote

Read the article, you will see that coywolf is an inaccurate name as virtually all coyotes are hybrids of coyote, wolf and dog.


Alittlebitmorbid t1_j2qod8x wrote

Completely normal. Even hybrid bears have been known (polar bear x grizzly). The Dingo population in Australia is suffering because they mix with feral dogs. It made the news when a 100% pure Dingo puppy (of a certain sub species) was found, he is now fathering little Dingos to help the species. Other animals also sometimes mix. I guess we never notice most hybrids as they either stand out and are preyed upon or just are not seen because it's obviously impossible to monitor this everywhere at all times.


Snizl t1_j2rzc9w wrote

Well Dingos are just feral dogs themselves, same as the prtzewalski horse, which also is just a feral and not a wild horse.


Alittlebitmorbid t1_j2s24qf wrote

Both differ genetically enough from the domesticated variants and took different paths thousands of years ago. In fact it is not sure the Przewalskis were from a domesticated group. They also show a huge lot of characteristics common in wild horses and may be a mix of the last remainders of wild living horses in Europe and domesticated ones. But there are enough other examples. In birds there are about 4000 proven examples of hybridization, half of it due to captivity, the other half occuring naturally, but the numbers are estimated to be higher as it is not always possible to identify wild living hybrids. Also we humans are hybrids, there's still Neanderthal DNA found in us.


LOUDCO-HD t1_j2qnd58 wrote

With the changing climate Polar Bears have extended their range to the south and Grizzly Bears to the north, creating some overlap and some hanky Panay.

The result is known variously as Grolar, Pizzly, Zebra, Grizzlar or Nanaluk bears.


CatHavSatNav t1_j2qo7at wrote

Note to self: If ever face to face with a Zebra in the wild, make sure it's a horse's stripy cousin.


enderlord99 t1_j2qp4o2 wrote

Those are still dangerous, actually.

Not as much, obviously, but still.


johnnycakeAK t1_j2qpu1k wrote

Another common one in California, Oregon, and Washington are hybrids between mule deer and blacktail deer which are fertile. More rarely, in places where both species occur, hybrids of whitetails and mule deer occur.


BigheadReddit t1_j2qwm68 wrote

I live in Southern Alberta, Canada, and hunt both species. I’ve never seen a hybrid of a WT or MD. Is it common ? What are they called ?


kentMD t1_j2tbbz0 wrote

The Amazon Molly is perhaps the most interesting. It exists as an all female species that is a sexual parasite on the two species that it arose from. It uses their sperm to stimulate its eggs but destroys and doesn’t use their genetic material and instead proceeds with a form of parthenogenesis,essentially%20all%20individuals%20are%20females.


a_guy_on_Reddit_____ t1_j2rrfbr wrote

Just a small example is between two different species of ‘fire ants’.The two different species of Solenopsis invicta (RIFA) and Solenopsis xyloni often have alates that mate with members of the other species,making workers that are a mix in colour of the two species.


Routine_Chain5213 t1_j2reh9h wrote

Not sure If we are classed as wild, (that's up for debate) but there are a lot of apperently none African folks walking around with a low percentage of Neanderthal genes..

I find it interesting on many fronts but raises the question has that been a constant low percentage or something that has been lowering over time since cross breading and Neanderthals disappearance?


KolbeinSterke t1_j2t8hj7 wrote

Many biologists are now classifying modern humans and Neanderthals as related subspecies. The taxonomical assignations are then Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. There's also evidence of cross breeding with Denisovans, but they haven't been properly classified, yet, and may not be a separate species or subspecies.

The percentage will have been higher among the first tribes to breed with Neanderthals, but probably have fallen to the current level fairly quickly. Generally, "weird" qualities will disappear, unless they're useful (not to mention if they're disadvantageous in their new context), which will reduce genetic variation. This has removed much Neanderthal DNA. Only a few alleles are shared in modern populations.