Animal History Pets Survival

The 10 Rarest Most Dangerous Animal Hybrids

Just like normal offspring, animal hybrids inherit certain characteristics from their parents. And in the case where these parents are some of nature’s most feared members, the hybrids inherit some of this viciousness too. Let’s check them out – the 10 rarest and most dangerous animal hybrids.

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You might have probably heard about the most common animal hybrid between a female horse and a male donkey, called a mule, but did you know there are more of these mixed animals? Though this kind of species and breeds crossing does not usually appear in nature, with the intervention of humans, we now have zonkeys, ligers, and Savannah cats.


These animals are typically infertile, with some exceptions, such as the coywolf (not to be confused with a coy wolf), a mix of a coyote and a wolf, and can further reproduce. Though the internet is full of photoshopped images of strange creatures, this list is full of absolutely real and amazing animals.

 

What does the future hold, with advances in genetic engineering and cloning? Only time will tell! Keep reading to find out more about these weird animals.

The Beefalo

Beefalos are the offspring of domestic male cattle and a female American bison. While the hybrid has been documented since at least the mid-1700s, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century when intentional breeding started.

Specifically choosing a domestic bull and a female bison means the probability of more offspring which in turn translates to more meat. Flipping the sex of the parent pair significantly cuts down on the number of beefalos that can be born.

The main idea was to have an animal that embodied the best qualities of its parents for maximum meat production. While bison meat has been found to have lower fat and cholesterol content compared to regular beef, keeping the animals isn’t the best of ideas due to them being hard to control.


So combining their genes with that of domestic cattle tons down their unpredictable behavior while keeping the meat quality almost the same. But that doesn’t mean beefalos are as chill as cattle. They still retain some aggressive traits, so handlers are always advised to watch out.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Pit bulls date back to 19th century England where they were first bred from bulldogs and terriers. Initially, the hybrids were referred to as bull and terrier and were bred specifically to be aggressive – a trait that has earned the breed a fearsome reputation to this day.


Up until 1835, owners would use their dogs in bear and bull-baiting; two blood sports that were considerably popular at the time. After that year, though, the sports would effectively be outlawed after the introduction of animal welfare laws.

So instead of baiting, the owners switched to pitting their dogs against each other since this was easier to organize and was more discrete. The downside was the emergence of irresponsible breeders solely focused on having the most vicious pit bulls. In the hands of an inexperienced owner, that’s a big problem which is probably one of the main reasons this hybrid gets bad press around the world.


Apparently, it’s so feared that some countries have specific legislation either straight up banning or restricting ownership. These include Puerto Rico, Denmark, Australia, Germany, and Spain to mention just a few.

The Liger

The liger is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger, two of the most ferocious cat species alive today. It borrows a lot from its feline parents both in terms of physical appearance and some behaviors. From the tiger’s side, the liger inherits a striped coat pattern and a love for swimming while on the lion’s side it gets a tawny shade and sociability.

That being said, the specific physical characteristics tend to vary with the parents’ subspecies and the general interaction of the genes in the liger. In terms of size, though, ligers take their own route, growing to be way larger than either of the two parent cats. With males growing to lengths of up to 12ft, the liger is basically the largest cat known to man thanks to rapid growth and the fact these hybrids take longer to reach their full size.


The biggest recorded liger was bred at the Valley of the Kings Animal Sanctuary in Wisconsin and tipped the scales at slightly over 1,200 pounds. Named Nook, the male liger died in 2007 at 21 years old. The massive size does come with a few problems, most notably a higher rate of injury compared to purely bred lions and tigers. This is one of the main reasons animal rights activists use against the idea of breeding ligers.


The Tigon

Tigons are basically just like ligers except for the fact that the parents here are swapped. Instead of a male lion and a female tiger, the breeding pair consists of a female lion and a male tiger. You would think this makes no difference but there’s quite a bit of it apparently.

While ligers have their coat pattern strictly limited to stripes, a tigon can have both the tiger’s stripes and spots from the lion. Yes, female lions carry this gene which shows up prominently in cubs and fades away as they grow, although a few retain it to adulthood.


Tigons are also smaller than ligers but not necessarily smaller than their parents which has been a common misconception. Another distinct tigon feature is the mane on the male ones although it’s usually way shorter and less noticeable than a lion’s.

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