Ligers and other hybrids

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Hybrids have lived side by side with human beings in one form or another of virtually our entire history.
From the Genesis Ch. 6 hybridization of the “Sons of God” and the “daughters of men” to Joseph Stalin’s attempts to breed half human half ape hybrid super-soldiers (see Human animal hybrid experiments) to the 2011 AD news that 150 human animal hybrids were grown in UK labs.

With today’s ability to read and manipulate the genome we have done things such as breeding out the growth inhibitor gene so as to produce unusually large (at least, unusual by modern standards) kitty cats.

In view are ligers which are half tiger half lion hybrids. The reason that lions and tigers can produce offspring is that they are both the same kind of animal. That is, they are both felines.
Yet, with progress (or rather, regress) in genetic manipulation we are becoming more able to do that which does not occur in nature which is the mixing of animal kinds.

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In the case of these felines; the male lion and the female tiger have the growth inhibitor gene. Thus, by breeding female lions and male tigers the growth inhibitor gene is done away with and you end up with enormous animals.
As you can see from the attached photos, the ligers, standing on their hind legs, are about twice as tall as an average adult human and eat 100 lbs. of meat per day.

The group that handles what appear to be the largest ligers has written an article titled The Top Ten Myths About Ligers (And why they are WRONG!).

Here is some of the info therein:

Ligers have Hybrid Vigor. They are bigger, stronger and tend to be healthier than both parents….they have huge appetites, which are another example of Hybrid Vigor…

Ligers live into their late teens and early twenties. Just like lions and tigers in captivity. If anything ligers tend to live a few years longer…

Liger cubs are the same size as tigers at birth. They weigh from half a pound to a pound. They fit in the palm of your hand. The mother tiger weighs 350 pounds. Liger cubs are less than .01% of the mother’s weight. Human babies are 5 % of the mother’s weight…

Because of Hybrid Vigor, ligers are strong. They tend to be free from disease and have the very best traits of lions and tigers!…

One question that they state as being a myth is, “It is unethical and unnecessary to crossbreed different species. Unethical breeders allow hybridization to occur because they are strictly profit driven.”
They actually do not answer the ethical question but merely respond with:

FALSE! Ligers are animal ambassadors. Our ligers have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for grassroots conservation of tigers and other endangered species by appearing in educational fundraising presentations.

They also provide a succinct recounting of various other hybrids:

The Blood Parrot…[a fish] hybridization of two species of cichlid – the redheaded cichlid and the Midas cichlid. The pairing turned out pretty much as well as anything Midas-related. The blood parrot has a vertically opening mouth that it can’t close entirely. It can’t chew and has to crush its food in its throat…

The Featherless Chicken…the result of intentional crossbreeding of a bare-necked chicken and a regular broiler chicken. It has no feathers, and is meant to make the processing of chicken one step faster, since it doesn’t have to be plucked…

The Zubron…a cross between the domesticated cow and the Polish wisent, a horned animal also known as a zubr. The breeders ran into some hiccups in making these. The males of the first generation were sterile. The females, however, were fertile, and could be bred with cows or wisent’s, producing fertile males for the next generation. They were impervious to disease, cold, and many harsh conditions…females grow to 800 pounds. The males to 1200, with horns…

The Toast of Botswana…goat-sheep hybrid…

The Wholphin…isn’t really a whale-dolphin mix. It’s a mix of two species of dolphin, one of which is a known as a ‘false killer whale’.

The Cama…The camel and llama…have the long legs of a camel with the warm coat of llama…it has the world’s only partially-cloven hoof, meaning it is partly devilish.

The Coywolf…is an example of humanity screwing itself over…Coyotes are small and solitary, but aren’t particularly scared of humans. Wolves are larger, but don’t tend to sidle up to humanity. The combination is quite large, and doesn’t tend to be scared of people, what with its full complement of sly wits and huge teeth and long legs.

…grolar bear – the polar/grizzly mix that needs more meat to live and will eventually kill us all…
There are plenty of brown and black bear hybrids running around the US.
There have also been hybrids at several zoos, including a Malayan Sun bear and a sloth bear, a sloth bear and an Asiatic black bear, a black bear and a spectacled bear, and a black bear and a sun bear.

The Zebroids…Zorse, zonkey, zony, zebrass; these are all the things that happen when a zebra is put together with various kinds of horses.

The Liger…There’s the savannah cat, which is a mix of domestic cat and the wild African serval.
There’s the liguar, which was a lion’s head on a jaguar’s body.
King of the big cats is the liger, a lion father and tiger mother bred together in a way that enhances both species’ gene expression for size, resulting in a cat that’s about eleven feet tall and nearly a half a ton in weight.
The only other cat that can compare is part of the fossil record.
The liger harkens back to the days of megafauna. It wouldn’t even consider a human a snack. . . .

Lastly, note that, for some reason, the folks at the ligerliger.com org have named their hybrids after mythical hybrid, god, titan figures: Hercules, Zeus, Sinbad and Vulcan.

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