Hybrid (from lat.hibrida ) - the creation of a new individual by crossing living organisms of various breeds, species, varieties. The process of hybridization is applied mainly to living things (animals, plants).
The article will focus on the creation of such organisms in the animal world. These are the most difficult experiments. Also, the reader will be able to see hybrids of animals, photos of which are posted in sections.
The first attempts of creating hybrids was carried out in the XVII century by a German scientist in the field of botany by Camerarius. And in 1717 the English gardener Thomas Francillon the scientific community presents a successful result of hybridization – new species of carnations.
The creation of hybrid plants has become widespread among biologists all over the world: by crossing different seeds, new varieties were brought out, and by breeding, cultures were selected that, depending on need, had frost resistance qualities, yielded a large crop, were immune to damage by parasites, exceeded in the amount of their "parents", etc.
In the animal kingdom everything was much more complicated. In the world of wildlife extremely rare to meet animal hybrids. Therefore, the crossing of representatives of different types occurred artificially - in laboratory conditions or in reserves.
The very first hybrid with a thousand-year history is, of course, a mule - a mixture of a donkey and a horse.
From the middle of the 19th century, with the advent of nature reserves and zoos (as we used to see them in modern times), brown and white bears were crossed, as well as a zebra with a horse.
Since the middle of the 20th century, scientists all over the world have been conducting experiments on the crossing of various animal species. All of them pursue different goals: someone breeds hybrids to improve performance, someone for the exotic, and someone for effective medicines.
Animal hybrids: what are they?
Worldwide, there are more than 80 interspecific hybrids, but focus on the brightest and most famous representatives.
Pisley (aknuk) is a cross between a polar bear and a grizzly bear. The first mention of an unusual animal dates back to 1864. Then in the northwestern part of North America, near Rendezvous Lake, a bear with an unusual dull-white color and a golden-brown muzzle was shot.
10 years later, the first offspring of white and brown bears was received in the German zoo (Halle). The babies were born white, but over time the color changed to bluish-brown or golden-brown. Pisley showed good results in terms of reproduction: hybrid animals successfully produced offspring. Crossing occurred between Aknuk and with representatives of the pure line.
Often, interspecific hybrids of animals are not reproductive, but the animals are an exception, since both bears can be attributed to one species by biological features, but, based on a number of morphological features, bears were isolated by scientists into separate species.
Before 2006, there was a view that the hybrid animals are not found in the natural environment. This myth was dispelled on 16 April 2006 an American hunter Jim Martell, who Banks island (canadian Arctic) shot peaselee that was the indisputable proof of the emergence of hybrids in the wild.
Ligre and tigrolev
The first is a hybrid of a tigress and a lion, and the second is the offspring of a lioness and a tiger. These animal hybrids are born exclusively in artificial conditions, the reason is simple - different habitats (Africa and Eurasia) do not allow them to meet, it is possible only in menageries.
Externally, ligers look like a cave lion, which became extinct during the Pleistocene period. To date, this hybrid is considered the largest among the cats. This phenomenon is explained by the growth genes: they are not as active in tigers as in lions. For the same reason, the Tigrol is less tiger.
The Jungle Island Amusement Park (Miami, USA) contains a male liger named Hercules weighing 418 kg. For comparison: the average weight of the Amur tiger varies from 260 to 340 kg, and the African lion - from 170 to 240 kg. So, Hercules in one approach absorbs up to 45 kg of food, and the speed of 80 km / h develops in 10 seconds.
The remarkable thing about ligers is that these cats love to splash in the water. Another feature: ligers - one of the few hybrids that can reproduce offspring. Thus, in the Novosibirsk Zoo on August 16, 2012, the lion Samson and the lygritz Zita became parents, giving birth to the liggress Ciare.
Today in the world there are a little more than 20 ligrov.
Bester is a hybrid of two representatives of the sturgeon family - beluga female and male sterlet. Bester owes his appearance to the Russian biologist - Professor N. I. Nikolyukin. Since 1948, he came to grips with the problem of sturgeon hybridization. In 1952, the wife of Nikolai Ivanovich, who together with her husband worked on the creation of fish hybrids, tried to artificially obtain the offspring of sterlet and beluga. The nekolyukins did not assume that this unscheduled experiment would initiate a new direction in fish farming.
During the experiments, the professor crossed different types of sturgeon, but the turn did not reach the beluga and sterlet. Perhaps he considered such an experiment initially a failure, since these sturgeon are different in size and weight (the beluga is up to a ton, and the sterlet is not more than 15 kg), live and spawn in different places, and their hybrids cannot produce offspring. But it all happened exactly the opposite.
Bester took rapid growth from beluga, and from sterlet - rapid puberty, which is an important factor for industrial fish. Also, the hybrid has turned out incredibly tender meat and tasty caviar.
Now, on the territory of Russia, the besters are bred on an industrial scale.
It is a hybrid of a Bactrian male and a female llama. The first Kama was released in 1998 in the animal reproduction center of Dubai. The individual was created artificially, the main purpose of such a crossing was to get an animal with the endurance of a camel and the quality of llama wool. The experiment was a success. Kama turned out to weigh up to 60 kg, with a coat length of at least 6 cm, with the ability to carry loads of up to 30 kg. The lack of camels - the inability to reproduce. Of course, such an option would not have been possible in nature, since llamas live in South America, and the Bactrians live in Asia and Africa, and the former are much inferior in size to the latter. Despite these data, it turned out that the camel and llama have the same number of chromosomes.
To date, six individuals have been received in the UAE.
Kosatkodelfin (wolfin, cytophin)
Kosatkodelfin - hybrid killer whale (small black) and bottlenose dolphins. The first wolfin appeared in a water park in Tokyo, but died at the age of six months. The second hybrid of the katatkodelfina appeared in Hawaii in the sea park SeaLifePark in 1986. A female wolfin named Kekaimalu began breeding at the age of five, which is quite early for killer whales and dolphins. The first experience of motherhood was somewhat unsuccessful: the mother refused to feed the baby, so she was fed artificially, which allowed her to grow absolutely hand-made, but her life was short and ended at the age of 9 years. Kekaimalu experienced the happiness of motherhood three times, but the last one turned out to be the most successful: in 2004, the female Kavili Kai was born from the bottlenose dolphin male. The baby was very playful, and a month after the birth reached the size of her father.
An interesting fact discovered by scientists: wolfina 66 teeth, bottlenose dolphins – 88, and the whale – 44.
Now in the world there are two individuals katkodelfina, which are contained in Hawaii. Sometimes there is information that the Wolfs were seen in the wild, but scientists have not yet been able to confirm these data.
Let's see what are the most common animal hybrids. The examples are quite interesting. These are the following hybrids:
- domestic horse and zebra - zebra;
- donkey and zebra - zebru;
- bison and bison - bison;
- sable and marten - kidas;
- cichlid - red parrot;
- females of the African lion and leopard - leopard;
- leopard and lioness - leopon;
- capercaillie and black grouse - interbrook;
- dromadera and baktriana - nar;
- lionesses and tigers - tigon;
- hare hare and white hare - cuff;
- cows and yaks - Haynak (DZO);
- ferret and mink - honorik;
- leopard and jaguar - jagopard.
But such in the course of many experiments turned out hybrids of farm animals:
- the horse and the donkey are a mule;
- donkeys and stallion - mule;
- sheep and goats;
- diamond and gold pheasants - hybrid pheasant;
- cows domestic and American bison - bifalo;
- the hybrid produced by crossing drakes Beijing musk duck white, Rouen, orpington, white Allier – Mullard
- pigs home with hog wild - a pig from the Iron Age.
About hybrid animals can be very long, given their number and diversity. But there are other options, for example, hybrids of animals and plants?
To date, there is the only known hybrid - sea snail (Elysia chlorotica), living on the coast of North America from the Atlantic Ocean. These animals feed on solar energy: eating plants, they photosynthesize. Snail dubbed gelatinous plant green. This hybrid receives chloroplasts, which are then stored in intestinal cells. A curious fact: a sea snail with a life expectancy of no more than one year can eat only the first two weeks from the moment of birth, after which the consumption of food becomes non-priority.
Hybrids of plants and animals have become familiar, and how would the public react to a hybrid of man and animal? And are there any?
There are many rumors about the existence of such hybrids, but, unfortunately, there are very few facts. However, studying the mythology of different nations, scientists point out the presence of beastmen in almost all epos. Scientists from Australia and the USA studied more than 5,000 rock paintings and texts. Most often there are descriptions of people whose bodies (as a rule, the lower part) consist of the body of a horse, goat, ram, dog. The names of such beastmen are well known to us from mythology. These are centaurs, minotaurs, satires and others.
The existence of such "people", the scientists explained that in ancient times, the bestiality was a common occurrence, especially in the army, for it was always kept flocks of sheep and goats. The animals were for the military not only of potential food but also the objects of sexual needs. Many scientists of the middle Ages there are mentions about the birth of a female child from the animals and Vice versa. These facts remain a big question, because from a biological point of view, it is impossible due to the different set of chromosomes.
Recently, new, ambiguous facts have been revealed to the public. One of these facts is conducting an experiment to fertilize a woman with chimpanzee sperm in Nazi Germany and the USSR. According to some reports, the Soviet Union after a series of attempts received a positive result. The further fate of the experiment has not yet been disclosed.
The hybrid of man and animal for modern society is nonsense, but information about similar experiments continues to appear in the media. Is this true or fiction? We will judge in 10-20 years. Time will tell how far science will step, but for now we will absorb the hybrid fruits and vegetables, enjoy the beauty of hybrid plants and animals and hope that humanity will not return to the Stone Age.