There’s a whole lot of crazy Photoshopped animals floating around the internet, but these 17 hybrid species are 100% real and 100% awesome.
#1. Male lion + female tiger = liger.
Ligers are the biggest of the big cats, with record-holder Hercules (above) weighing 922 pounds. Despite apparent sightings of ligers in the wild, most ligers live in captivity after being deliberately bred.
#2. Male tiger + female lion = tigron.
Crazily different from the liger (despite being the same animals with the genders swapped), tigrons are also big big cats but they’re smaller than ligrons.
Apparently, when ligers and tigrons have their own cubs they’re called either titigrons or liligers. We don’t know how far this continues down the line (tititititititititigrons?).
#3. Zebra + anything horse-y = zebroid.
Zebroids have actually been around for ages (Charles Darwin wrote about them back in the 1800s). Zebroids usually look like normal horses except with the addition of go-faster stripes, but they don’t just look badass — they’re harder to tame and more aggressive than horses, too.
#4. Female donkey + male horse = hinny.
The opposite of a mule (which is a male donkey and a female horse), a hinny is the product of a male horse and female donkey. They have elegant horse’s heads and little stumpy bodies like donkeys, so they didn’t exactly win the genetic lottery.
#5. Male jaguar + female lion = jaglion.
Meet Jahzara and Tsunami, the result of accidental breeding between a black jaguar and a lioness who were raised together and became inseparable. Born in Canada in 2006, they were the first of their kind and surprised scientists everywhere, as no one knew how their different genes would interact.
#6. Goat + sheep = geep.
This adorable spindly-yet-fluffy thing is a baby geep. They’re super rare as they don’t usually survive past birth because, despite popular thought, goats and sheep are actually hugely different genetically.
#7. Coyote + wolf = coywolf.
Coyotes interbreeding with red and eastern wolves is increasingly common as they’re so closely related, but coyotes and grey wolves are much rarer. You can find them around North America, generally a little larger than coyotes but smaller than a wolf and with combined character traits of both.
#8. Grizzly (brown) bear + polar bear = grolar bear.
Also known (hilariously) as “pizzly bears,” they mostly live in zoos, as polar bears and grizzlies tend to hang out in different places, although in 2006 an Alaskan hunter shot a grolar bear. Behaviorally they’re closer to polar bears than brown bears, so… they’ll still eat you, basically.
#10. Domestic cat + serval = savannah cat.
The savannah cat combines your regular housecat and the Serval, a wild African cat. They’re enormous and much more like dogs than cats; they play fetch, wag their tails, and even adore water. Sadly, these awesome cat-dogs don’t come cheap.
#11. Whale + dolphin = wholphin.
Despite the name, wholphins come from false killer whales which are actually in the dolphin family. They’re really rare, with only one currently living in captivity and very few confirmed sightings in the wild.
#12. Domestic cow + European bison = żubroń.
Also known as a “wisent”, these guys are as tough as they look. They’re stronger and more resistant to disease than regular cows and were thought to be a replacement for cattle, but now there’s just one little herd of żubroń living in Poland.
#13. Camel + llama = cama.
The first cama only appeared in 1998, after a wild scientist (ho ho) in Dubai decided to cross a camel with a llama. They were intended to produce nice woolly fur to be sold, but only five camas have ever been successfully bred.
#14. Domestic cow + wild yak = dzo.
Larger and stronger than cows and yaks, dzo (male) and dzoma (female) live in Tibet and Mongolia and are highly valued for their massive yield of meat and milk. They’re the perfect mix of cuddly fur and murderous horns.
#15. Male leopard + female lion = leopon.
Nearly impossible to occur in the wild because lionesses are a LOT bigger than leopards, all known leopons have been bred in captivity. First documented in 1910, leopons have brown rather than black spots and enjoy climbing and being in water.
#16. Buffalo + cow = beefalo.
With the best name of all the hybrids, beefalo have been around since the 1800s. Heartier than cattle and less harmful to the environment when grazing, beefalo were so successful it’s actually believed that only four wild buffalo herds without cow genes now exist.
#17. Narwhal + beluga = narluga.
Even though narwhals and belugas are very close genetically, they’re an extremely rare crossbreed. Sightings of narlugas have been on the rise in the North Atlantic Ocean recently, with some scientists pointing to climate change as the reason.
Now, don’t say we never teach you anything.