Nature is a wonderful and magical thing that provides us with many stunning sights but sometimes it throws up some weird moments when two animals, not naturally meant to breed, come across one another. Here we look at some real crossovers that actually exist.
1. Grolar Bear
As global warming takes effect, polar bears are migrating further to find food and starting to come across breeding grounds of grizzly bears. The crossovers are called grolar bears or pizzly bears and are extremely aggressive.
You can also get polarbrowns which are a mixture of polar bears and brown bears and since grizzlies are a sub-species of brown bear, they are technically polarbrowns too.
When a male jaguar and a female lioness were raised together, they went on to produce two cubs that now live in a Canadian sanctuary and are thought to be the only ones of their kind in the world.
From a category of hybrids known as 'zebroids', the zorse comes from a male horse and a female zebra.
Often mostly keeping more of the donkey characteristics, they are short and slender but tend to have the striped markings of a zebra.
Like many hybrids, this poor animal often has health issues and a stunted lifespan but a cross between a male lion and female tiger does exist.
Often they have slighter frames, like that of a tiger, but are too heavy and have stomachs that are too large for them.
Go the other way and cross a male tiger and female lion and you get a tigon.
The tigon's genome includes genetic components of both parents, thus they can exhibit visible characteristics from both parents: they can have both spots from the mother (lions carry genes for spots—lion cubs are spotted and some adults retain faint markings) and stripes from the father.
Introduce a female llama and a male camel and a cama is the result.
An adult dromedary camel can weigh up to six times as much as a llama, so the hybrid needs to be produced by artificial insemination. Insemination of a female llama with sperm from a male dromedary camel has been the only successful combination.
When a zebra and a donkey mix the zonkey can occur and weirdly enough, has occurred naturally as well as with human introduction.
Zebroids (general term for all zebra hybrids) physically resemble their nonzebra parent but are striped like a zebra.
Lioness and male leopards create a stunning looking but illness susceptible big cat.
The head of the animal is similar to that of a lion while the rest of the body carries similarities to leopards.
Extremely rare and often not surviving beyond birth, the geep occurs when genes from a sheep and coat are mixed.
Despite widespread shared pasturing of goats and sheep, hybrids are very rare, indicating the genetic distance between the two species as they may appear similar but sheep belong to the genus Ovis and have 54 chromosomes, while goats belong to the genus Capra and have 60 chromosomes.
10. Savannah Cat
In 1986, an African Serval cat was crossed with a domestic cat producing the semi-domesticated Savannah cat.
Judee Frank crossbred a male serval, belonging to Suzi Woods, with a Siamese (domestic cat) to produce the first Savannah cat (named Savannah) on April 7, 1986.
Not the whale-dolphin mix that many assume it is but rather a bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale, also a dolphin species. Occurring in the 1980s in captivity, it is believed it has happened in nature as well.
The first recorded wholphin was born in a Tokyo SeaWorld, but he died after 200 days.
In an attempt to get a greater beef product at lower cost, American farmers bred the American Bison with a cow.
Zubrons also exist, which are the breeding of beef cattle with European bison.
A cross between the wolf and the domesticated dog, in Europe you can only own a second generation one as they are still considered too wild for domestic petting but evidence suggests they have been around for over 10,000 years.
Intra-hybridization between dogs and other subspecies of gray wolves are the most common wolfdogs since dogs and gray wolves are considered the same species, are genetically very close, and have shared vast portions of their ranges for millennia.
Purposely bred since ancient times, the mule is a cross between donkey and horse and is a hardy animal used to carry heavy weights and more resistant to disease than its descendants.
Mules are reputed to be more patient, hardy and long-lived than horses, and are described as less obstinate and more intelligent than donkeys.
Like the grolar bear, as climates warm up, Narwhals have started to travel further and come across beluga whales.
Its snout and lower jaw were particularly burly, and its teeth shared some similarities with both narwhals and belugas whilst their heads are very big.