ELi5: to what extent can animals create hybrids? Either naturally or through scientific intervention?


I know some hybrids will just be infertile but is the possibility still there and To what extent? Like can I cross a zebra and a crocodile or am I limited to zebras and other animals in the Equidae family?

In: Biology

Your limited to animals who’s chromosomes and dna are similar enough that when the two animals gametes meet they’re dna is able to function. The problem is and why they’re infertile is because the dna is still not an exact match and the sex organs and hormones are almost always the most complex. This means that the new hybrid animal’s dna is just stable enough to grow but at the molecular many genes are distorted. there are enough backup genes to facilitate necessary functions but just barely. If you were to try and split these genes again in a new generation they would be too far gone at that point and the embryo won’t take and the animal again would be considered infertile. Sometimes! We can get hybrid animals to give birth, often to still births but I’ve heard some hybrids can give live births even their future generation can but they are infertile and this is rare.