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Plants and Animals. Hybrid species.

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Product Description

Hybrid species

The splitting of one species into two distinct species, incapable of reproducing fertile offspring with each other, is a process that takes millions of years and is referred to by the technical name of Cladogenesis.

While this happens, it is possible that two species with a recent common origin can still breed with each other, but in general they produce hybrids that are sterile and die prematurely.

Examples in animals include the crosses between:

  • horse and donkey (mule),
  • lion and tiger (liger),
  • zebra and donkey (zebroid).

This does not happen in plants. Hybrid plants are fertile in general.

Examples of typical hybrid plants are:

  • bread wheat, the one we eat every day, which was the result of the hybridization of three wild kinds of wheat 10,000 years ago,
  • grapefruit, a hybrid between pomelo and orange,
  • mint, a hybrid between spearmint and water mint,
  • and the bananas we all eat frequently.

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