How can certain animals breed with others like donkey with a horse to make a mule, or zebra with a horse to make a Zorse, but other animals cannot?

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How can certain animals breed with others like donkey with a horse to make a mule, or zebra with a horse to make a Zorse, but other animals cannot?

In: Biology

Horses and donkeys/zebras are close enough genetically for their offspring to be viable. The same is true with dogs and wolves, or lions and tigers… but not with dogs and foxes, or cats and badgers.

Many animals in the same family (horses, canines and felines being the most commonly known) can interbreed because they are so similar genetically. There are examples of bears (polar with grizzly), and whales and dolphins (cetacean family) have also been in the news so to speak. I saw an article about fossils showing a beluga whale had bred with a narwhal. Life will find a way.