Liger (Lion Male – Tiger Female)
Ligers are probably the most common of the hybrid animals and likely one you have heard of before deciding to check out this most incredible article. Ligers tend to be healthy and common (in relation to some of the hybrids on this list) and you can see them in some zoos across the world. There have been reports of Ligers going back to the 1800’s.
The Liger represents a really interesting hybrid breed of animal in that the sum of the parts are arguably greater than the ingredients that have been put in. Generally with animal hybrids the resulting animals can be sickly or smaller or weak. Not so with the Liger. Ligers grow to sizes even bigger than their parents. It’s a very odd thing, but it’s believed that there are some genes inherited from female lions that restrict growth. Since their mother isn’t a lion, they are able to ignore that gene and continue to grow to their true maximum size. The biggest liger in the world is named Hercules (appropriate) and weighs and immense 900 pounds.
Ligers were also popular with the imperialistic British. While Queen Victoria was in power, however some Ligers were bred for Queen Victoria and they sent her back a couple of cubs. It was common for people to send curiosities and animals back to London for the amusement of the Queen and the study by British scientists.
Many hybrids are unable to have further children because of their combined chromosomes. T, however, an have cubs. This only applies to the females however as the males are unable to pass on their genes. But Ligers are able to have cubs when they mate with lions. It’s interesting to note that Ligers can come in golden or a very light white shade. This is because they can mate with both standard and white lions.