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Hybrid Animals

Hybrid Animals Are they a natural occurring species, or a scientific abomination? Throughout history hybrid animals have been highly controversial subjects. Some examples of these animals are beefalos, zonkeys, wholphins, and ligers. Although some of these animals occur naturally in the wild, some are engineered in science labs. What are some examples of hybrid animals? The first liger was created in 1824 after Professor Valentine Bail, a director of a museum in a Dublin, bred by a female tiger and a male lion (Murano, 2009). When the first ligers were created they were christened as lion-tigers and later claimed the name ligers.

The liger was made famous in the hit movie Napoleon Dynamite. You may have also heard of tigons. These are almost the same as ligers but they come from a male tiger and a female lion. Another example of a hybrid animal is a wholphin. This animal was naturally occurring as at Sea Life Park in Hawaii a male killer whale and a female bottlenose dolphin shared an exhibit. They mated and they produced a wholphin. The employees at Sea Life Park did not know what they were looking at when the female gave birth to an animal that looked like nothing they had never seen before. (Weaver, 2010)

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Some animals are thought of as hybrid animals but actually aren’t. The platypus is a good example of this. A lot of people think it is a mix of a beaver and a duck but it is actually thought of as a divergence in evolution where the beaver species had to evolve to fit adaptations. Even though it looks as though it is a mix of two animals it is actually evolution. (Weaver, 2010) What is the downside of hybrid animals? But with this touchy subject comes controversy. When you mix humans and animals it can be considered as an ethical issue. The first time this process was tried an aborted human fetus’ stem cells were injected into a onkey fetus still inside of its mother’s womb. The scientist said the cells “integrated nicely”, but when the monkey was born it was no longer a monkey, but a human-primate hybrid which was a complete abomination. Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University began trying to blur the line between humans and animals in 2003 when they successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells.

But this is not just an over-sea problem. American scientists began doing some of the same things. In Minnesota last year researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies. And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this year to create mice with human brains. Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing “spare parts,” such as livers, to transplant into humans. There are currently no U. S.

Federal laws that address those issues (Carroll, 2010). Is there an upside to hybrid animals? But not all animal hybrids are bad. In fact, beefalos are considered helpful in many ways. Unlike normal cattle, beefalos produce red meat that is lower in fat than that of a normal cow. These hybrids began being noticed in the 1700’s and were intentionally bred in the mid-1950’s. Yet, these animals have a down side. They have put a serious decline in the conservation of the American buffalo. The beefalos live amongst the American buffalo therefore genetically polluting the buffalo population.

Now, there are only four genetically pure American buffalo herds (Springer, 2010). Although these animals may sound fictional they are 100% real. These animals may be naturally occurring or intentionally bred but either way they are a completely new species and it is a science mystery how two different species with different genes can have an offspring that is not a complete abomination. Reference: Carroll, S. (2010, September 13). Hybrids may survive. Retrieved from http://www. nytimes. com/2010/09/14/science/14creatures. html? _r=1

Murano, G. (2009, April 14). Amazing hybrid animals. Retrieved from http://www. oddee. com/item_96640. aspx Springer, B. (2010, July 7). Hybrid animals. Retrieved from http://blogs. smithsonianmag. com/science/2010/07/animal- hybrids-ligers-and-tigons-and-pizzly-bears-oh-my/ What’s a Liger?. (2005, November 5). What’s a liger?. Retrieved from http://www. sciencebuzz. org/blog/whats_a_liger Weaver, J. (2010, December 15). Mating mystery. Retrieved from http://www. livescience. com/9110-mating-mystery-hybrid-animals-hint-desperation-arctic. html


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