Real-life "Pokemon"

You are probably familiar with Pokemon (a contraction of "pocket" and "monster"), a comic and game character. Some Pokemon are a combination of two types of living things and their names reflect these organisms. For example, Bulbasaur = Bulb + Dinosaur. The resulting creature is called a hybrid - an imaginary one, though.

Animal Hybrids

Do you know there are real animal hybrids in the world?
"Hybrid, strictly defined, an offspring that is a cross between different species, genera, or, in rare cases, families. More loosely defined, a hybrid can also be a cross between parents of different subspecies or varieties of a species."

Encarta Encyclopedia
  1. Species: Basic grouping of the same living things e.g., all tigers

  2. Genus: (pl. genera) Grouping of closely-related species e.g., tigers, lions and leopards

  3. Family: Grouping of related genus with similar characteristics e.g., the cat family consisting of tigers, lions, leopards, wild cat and jaguar
Lion Tigress Liger Liger on National Geographic Humanzee
Tiger Lioness Tigon Defying the odds, the tigon cubs
Leopard Lioness Leopon Hybrid Big Cats
Camel Llama Cama Cross between camel and llama
Zebra Donkey Zebrass (Zebr-ass)
Zedonk / Zonkey

Donkey Zebra Donkra Baby Donkra born at Xiamen Haicang Safari Park
Zebra / Horse Horse / Zebra Zorse or Zebroid Zorse is cute surprise
Donkey (Jack) Horse (Mare) Mule
Horse (Stallion) Donkey (Jennet) Hinny
Domestic Cattle Bull Bison Cow
(American Buffalo)
Beefalo (3/8 bison genetics)

False Killer Whale Bottlenose Dolphin Wolphin or Wholphin A Wolphin Celebrates Her Tenth Birthday!
«« Animal Hybrids Crossword
Animal-Human Hybrids?

Are there animal-human hybrids? A chimera is a mythological hybrid creature that is part human, part animal. Today, scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal. »» "Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy"

British lawmakers have voted - Scientists can now create cybrids (cytoplasmic hybrids) to carry DNA of patients with degenerative diseases (such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's) for medical research.

Cybrids are created by injecting a human nucleus into an empty animal egg. Electric shock then makes the cells in the embryo divide. Stem cells are then extracted and reprogrammed into any human tissue stem cell for study in the laboratory.
The Straits Times, May 21, 2008
What would life be like if you crossed your DNA with a mammal, reptile, bird, dinosaur or even a marsupial? Play the DNA Pod Game!

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Copyright © February 2006; Updated May 2008 "Parenting the Next Generation"

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