Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Forced Evolution

What do you get when you mix a zebra and a donkey? Give up? A Zonkey. At least that is what they’re calling the baby animal born this week in Barbados. (,2933,154946,00.html) His mother is a zebra and his father is a donkey. The brown animal has black and white striped legs, and he literally looks like the genetic mix that he is. Allison the Zebra was one of two on the island. The other zebra, the male named George, became ill. The natives were astonished to find Ally “with foal” and did not know who the father was. It was only when she gave birth to her Zonkey that her human caregivers knew who had inseminated her. Now the islanders are hoping Allison and George mate to increase the zebra population in Barbados. Apparently, Zebra hybrids are quite common. There’s also a creature called a “Ziger”, which, one can assume is a cross between a zebra and a tiger. To add to this mess of genes is the wolphin, the product of a killer whale and a bottle-nose dolphin relationship. The wolphin looks larger than a regular dolphin, and has a deeper color. Both mother and baby are wolphins, but the mother is split evenly between the species and the calf is one-quarter whale and three-quarters bottle-nose dolphin. I’m definitely going to keep informed on other cross breeds around the world. It is interesting to see what animals can mate with. This is Darwinism occurring before my very own eyes.


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