This ridiculous name was given to a ridiculously large pig-beast creature shot and killed in 2005. It was the apparent result of mating between a wild male hog and a domestic female pig. Hogzilla was initially reported to weigh more than 1,000 lbs. and stretch more than 12 feet long, but these figures were subsequently reduced to 800 lbs. and a length of around 7.5 feet from snout to hind hoof. Which is still huge! Domestic pigs usually weigh around 300 to 400 lbs. Note that many skeptics call the whole Hogzilla tale hogwash.
4 The Grolar Bear
What happens when a polar bear and a grizzly bear fall in love? That’s right, you get a grolar bear. Grolar bears have been the result of both captive and wild breeding; the latter liaisons resulted when grizzlies wandered to the northern limits of their ranges and polar bears traveled farther south than usual. With global warming reducing the amount of polar ice in the polar bear’s habitat, we might begin to see more of these crossbreeds, which exhibit traits of both parent bears: They are larger than grizzles yet smaller than polar bears, with the wide head of the grizzly and the hollow fur shafts of the polar.
3 The Wholphin
It’s a dolphin! No, it’s a whale! Wait, no, it’s definitely not a whale, because this strange aquatic mammal is a cross between the bottlenose dolphin and the false killer whale, a large member of the same family as the orca and dolphin, but from a totally separate genus. Wholphins are bigger than dolphins, smaller than false killer whales, and, amazingly, have the exact average number of teeth of the two parent animals: Dolphins have 44 teeth, false killer whales have 88 and wohlphins have 66! Only one wholphin exists in captivity, and the hybrid is only rumored to live in the wild.
2 The Mule
How about a hand for the humble mule? When a male donkey and a mare (that’s a female horse, FYI) mate, they produce a sterile yet strong and dependable crossbreed animal known as a mule. Mules are the rare example in the world of hybrid animals where many of the positive aspects of the parents’ species are expressed while many of the negative traits are suppressed. Mules are generally less temperamental than donkeys and are often healthier and longer-lived than horses. They are perhaps history’s oldest-known hybrid; the existence of the mule can be traced to Ancient Greece and beyond.
1 The Liger
That’s right, it’s half lion, half tiger! A liger is the result of breeding between a male lion and female tigress, and is not to be confused with the tigon; you can guess which factors are reversed there. A liger is also not to be messed with, because this unnatural cat is unnaturally huge! In fact, this hybrid cat is usually bigger than either of its parent species. You can clearly see aspects of both parent animals in the liger, with tiger-like patterns marking the fur and lion-like features defining the head. Sadly, ligers are prone to birth defects and myriad degenerative diseases, and rarely live as long as either parent species.