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...and speaking of bad monkeys

Oliver

The night before we left for Vegas, Lisa and I caught a Discovery Channel documentary about Oliver, a primate whose strange appearance raised speculation that he might be a humanzee, or human-chimp hybrid. Early in the show when the narrator asked, in that earnest tone that the narrators of crank-science documentaries always use, "Could Oliver really be the offspring of a human and an ape?", my immediate reaction was "No freaking way."

While I was right about this particular case -- DNA tests ultimately confirmed that Oliver is just a funny-looking chimp -- according to Wikipedia, the larger question of whether humans might be cross-fertile with other primate species remains unanswered. Which kinda creeps me out.

The documentary also touched on the subject of other, definitely existing hybrids, like ligers, which I had heard of but never seen:


Hercules1
Hercules2
Hercules3

This is Hercules. His father is a lion and his mother is a tiger. His extraordinary size is a side-effect of hybridization -- ligers, the dozen or so that exist, are the largest cats in the world, reaching twelve feet in length when fully grown. Like their tiger moms, they enjoy swimming:

Wet liger

Additional cute/freakish hybrid animal pictures may be found here and here.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
frabjousdave
Dec. 27th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't it creep you out more if the question of human-primate hybrids were answered?
matt_ruff
Dec. 27th, 2006 05:35 pm (UTC)
Actually, no, because the only way I wouldn't have heard of this before is if it had been answered in the negative.
nolly
Dec. 27th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
The Hercules photos are showing Mr. Yuckface.
matt_ruff
Dec. 27th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
Should be fixed now...
nolly
Dec. 27th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
Yep. Wow. Great big cat, itty bitty bottle....
matt_ruff
Dec. 27th, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
Supposedly he can consume 100 pounds of food at a single sitting, although 20 pounds is more common...
morbid_o
Dec. 28th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
Wow. I've found hybrid animals to be interesting at least since a trip to either Grant's Farm or Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch (I can't recall which; my family moved a lot).

I was also interested to learn from clicking through your links, that the domestic cat cannot be bred with the large cat (size-related logistics aside). Apparently the domestic cat hybrids are made with feral cats that resemble the large cats.

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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