Can humans breed with other animals if not, then why – quora bp gas prices columbus ohio


Several barriers exist preventing humans from reproducing with other animals, not least of which is other animals not wanting or able to have sex with us and vice versa. But what if you took, say, chimpanzee sperm and a human egg and attempted to fuse them?

Sometimes the sperm and egg just won’t fuse ( Gametic isolation). The receptor molecules on the egg won’t bind with the sperm cell. [This is how aquatic animals that just release sperm and eggs into the same ocean don’t hybridize.] What if they successfully fuse?

The chromosomes most likely won’t align properly, which will cause problems when the zygote (egg+sperm combo) tries to divide. In most cases you get hybrid inviability, where the embryo simply dies, failing to develop. In the rare occasions [in animals, at least] where a hybrid is successfully born, it will likely have hybrid sterility. A mule, for example, is a hybrid between a horse and a donkey, which is only possible because horses and donkeys are closely related, but the mules themselves can never breed.

I heard rumors that old Soviet scientists attempted to create human-chimpanzee hybrids, which would be the pairing with the lowest risk of gametic isolation and hybrid problems… but it failed. Chimpanzees have 24 pairs of chromosomes to our 23 pairs, so the chromosomes won’t align properly. So the answer is humans cannot reproduce with any other animals alive on earth today, which is why we can confidently state Homo sapiens is a distinct species from others.

Still… what about cavemen? Neanderthals? That’s a more difficult question… but it doesn’t change my answer. If we could breed with Homo neanderthalensis, then they wouldn’t be a different species from us! They would be a subspecies, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis to our Homo sapiens sapiens. However, even if they did mate, their hybrids could still have had problems with sterility or hybrid breakdown, where the second generation is sterile and not the first.

Horses and donkeys can interbreed and generate offspring, but they rarely get fertile. However, horses and donkeys are placed in the same taxonomic genus Eqqus, while humans are the only members of their own genus, Homo. Dogs and wolves are even more similar and they frequently generate fertile hybrids. Dogs and wolves are from the same species, Canis lupus, only differing themselves as different subspecies. Modern humans only have one living subspecies, as far as we know, which is called Homo sapiens sapiens. So, in taxonomical scales, we are less related to chimpanzees, than dogs are to wolves and even than horses are to donkeys.

However some animals can hybridize and generate offspring and being as closely related between those species, as we are to chimps. Chimpanzees belong to the genus Pan and we belong to Homo. Despite chimps and humans have never been recorded to have offspring, other animals had with a simillar taxonomic relationship. Marine iguanas ( Amblyrhynchus) and Galapagos land igunas ( Conolophus) can interbreed. Bisons ( Bison) and cows ( Bos) have been recorded to have fertile calves. Sheep ( Ovis) and goats ( Capra) also do. Leopard cats ( Prionailurus) and wildcats ( Felis) can also generate cubs. Black rhinos ( Diceros) and white rhinos ( Ceratotherium) have seen having hybrids. King snakes ( Lampropeltis) and corn snakes ( Pantherophis) did it to. Goldfinch ( Carduelis) and canaries ( Serinus) also are known to make hybrids, my grandfather has one. Domestic ducks ( Anas) and muscovy ducks ( Cairina) also can make hybrid chicks. It seems reasonable that humans can breed with chimps, in some occasions.

But what about other great apes, such as gorilla or orangutan? Gorillas are more distant to humans, than chimps. However some animals simillarly related can also generate offspring. Servals and cats are even more distantly related and can generate hybrids. Camels and llamas are too different but even they can make hybrids. African and Asian elephants also are slightly distantly related and made the same. This shows that humans can also make gorilla hybrids, at least in theory.

But is there any other proofs that it is possible? Well, by accident, one scientist discovered that the human sperm could penetrate the protective outer membranes of a gibbon egg! Some allegued attempts of making human hybrids with other great apes went to failure. However, some ancient tales show that some hybrids have been documented between chimps and orangutans, less commonly with gorillas and mostly none about gibbons. Some african tribes say that chimpanzees could rape women, but the stories also appear in Southeast Asia, but with orangutans. Some orangutans have been showing to have sexual interest to women and that even some female orangutans have been ilegally captured and shaved to work as prostitutes… and with success!

When I was still a kid, maybe 13, a worker in my father’s shoe shop, sitting at his repair desk, got into an argument with couple of customers who would sometimes linger on for social chit-chat; somehow the topic veered towards things that go in the villages. Our worker began to get caught up in a rhetoric he had started in response to my question – as I was studying biology by then –about the mismatch of dogs and cats in the gene-pool. He began to tell me that in a village near his own a birth had taken place just very recently from a cow whose offspring was half-human, This was overheard by the foot-loose customers, one of whom thought the claim to be bombastic and overblown. In very challenging tone he (the customer) asked what evidence was there for this phenomenon to have happened or even be possible? Rightly so.

Our worker assured him – now that he could not retract from the story he had begun, thinking that I might be a gullible subject, or that he had just thought of it as a story – that he had seen the beastly-human being with his own eyes; without loosing his smile, he invited the guests to come visit the village and see for themselves in the house where the new-formed being was being taken care of. No doctors came to kill the creature with lethal injections etc., he explained. The tension in the small shop got rather heated as this was found to be offensive by the Hindu customers, as such a heinous impregnation is not permitted in the scriptures; or, in our days, it would be tantamount to beastial pornography. The customer stood up ready for a fist fight, as did the story-teller; at that point my father who was behind the counter doing his own work, minding his own business, came forward and broke the deadlock by simply and politely asking the customers not to listen to this inveterate story-teller, that it was meant to be a kid’s story, a mythology and indeed – and this the punch line – there are numerous mythologies in our scriptures concerning mysterious and even divinely-ordained births of half-man-half-beast creatures, such as (I did look it up later) Narasimhna, Kalki (half-horse-man) yet to come. Indeed, the Hindu and Buddhists scriptures are full of such tell-tales… perhaps our modern biological and genetic sciences haven’t caught up with what even an ordinary village shoe-repairer knew better!