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Chimera (animal)

Chimera are animals created by the cross-breed of two closely related species. They are named after the mythical Chimera (creature). They are usually but not always infertile so that the chimera almost always result from intentional cross-breeding[?]. These animals are also sometimes called hybrids or mules.

Some chimera are:

  1. mule, a cross of female horse and a male donkey
  2. hinny, a cross between a female donkey and a male horse
  3. beefalo, a cross of an American bison and a domestic cow, this is a fertile breed
  4. wolfdog[?], the cross between a domestic dog and a wolf. Crosses also occur between coyote, wolves, dingos, and domestic dogs. Many of these produce fertile animals.
  5. Crosses between zebra and horses or donkeys.
  6. Liger[?] (or Tigon[?], depending on the parent's genders), a cross between a lion and a tiger. Various other wild cat crosses are known involving lynx, bobcats[?], leopard, serval[?], etc.
  7. A very rare cross between a sheep and a goat
  8. Cama, a cross between a camel and a llama
  9. Wolphin[?], a fertile but very rare cross between a false killer whale[?] and a bottlenose dolphin[?]
  10. A fertile cross between an albino king snake and an albino corn snake[?]

Having the same number of chromosomes is not a necessary condition for cross-breeding; for example, donkeys have 62, horses 64.

In biological research, artificial chimeras are often produced by mixing cells from two different organisms. This can result in the eventual development of an adult animal composed of cells from both donors, for example a chicken with a quail's brain has been produced by grafting portions of a quail embryo into a chicken embryo. Alternately, individual cells themselves can be merged together into hybrid cells, such as the hybridomas used to produce monoclonal antibodies[?] which are made by fusing antibody-producing immune system cells with cancer cells in a cell culture[?].

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