Daily GUIDE-ance:

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Hi, Brids!

So, Jonni and I were reading about Mary and Joseph riding to Bethlehem on a donkey a while back, as a bedtime story and she asked me what a donkey was.

Like a small, bitty little horse with big ears and a temper, I explained. Then I couldn't help explaining about how a mule was an animal with a horse for a mommy and an ass for a daddy, and that lead quickly to Zorses (Zebra dad, horse mom) and Hebras (the opposite) and then Zonkeys and from there onto Ligers (Lion dad, Tiger mom) and Tions and Wholphins(half whale half dolphin) and Beefalos (half cow half buffalo) and on and on and on. She was interested and thought some of the names for these types of animals were hilarious. (And they are, too).

All these animal combos I mentioned are things that can and have actually occurred. Not too long ago some hunters shot a bear that turned out to be half Polar bear half Grizzly. Talk about a scary beast. They call it a Grolar bear, which by convention assumes a male grizzly bear parent and a female polar bear parent. I suppose if it was the other way around you'd call it a Pizzly bear and that just cracks me up to no end.

I've seen a real live liger cub in person. So ha ha ha ha. It looked just like a tiger to me.

Ligers (lion dad and tiger mom) are one type of combo that have an effect called "Hybrid vigor" which means simply that Ligers can get much larger (like half again as big) as either a plain lion or tiger can get. Oddly it seems that the other way around- a tion- (tiger dad, lion mom) tend to have the opposite effect and wind up smaller than either parent. I don't know if the Grolar bears have hybrid vigor, but if they do WHOOOOO DOGGIES! what a demon of a bear that would make.

I've heard scientific speculation that it might be possible to have a successful elephant/Woolly Mammoth cross. Now that could be pretty neato. Here's how it'd work: You'd first have to find a frozen male mammoth, probably n Siberia. That wouldn't be too hard. Its estimated that there are ... well memory fails to come up with the exact stat but definitely thousands, possibly millions of frozen mammoths in Siberia. And they tend to be well preserved. I heard once of a restaurant that one night as a novelty served 10,000 year old mammoth meat. So - you have to find a male mammoth with some viable mammoth sperm frozen inside him. Not impossible. You find a healthy female modern elephant, do A.I. and wait for however long elephants gestate for and you have an animal with a 10,000 year extinct father. A Mammophant. Would be pretty dern cool if you ask me.

Another thing that I find interesting is that these cross-breed animals are not always sterile. There have been Li-ligers, (lion dad, liger mom) and Ti-ligers, etc etc. Usually male crossbreeds are sterile but often the females are not.

I also wonder what it would be like to be a lion or a grizzly bear or a whale or a donkey and to find yourself romantically attracted to somebody from another species. How weird must that be? Are lions and tigers actually the same species, but just very different breeds/races within the species- like a poodle and a doberman? I doubt it, but maybe?

I suppose maybe Homo Neanderthal, and Homo Erectus (who names these things by the way?!) and all the other Homos might have been to us something like a Polar bear must be to a grizzly. Some speculate that a Human/Chimpanzee cross might be possible- a Humanzee they'd call it- I personally doubt that. But it raises some questions that I find very interesting. Such a cross would, I think, be unethical- It would at the least amount to deliberately inflicting severe mental handicaps on an unborn child. But I'd sure like to know if it was possible, cause it would answer a lot of questions about humanity's identity as a species.

Well this has been an odd little babbling session. I wonder about this stuff though. Thanks for laughing with me at me.


Eyepoke said...

Uranus. There's another name that somebody wasn't thinking about when they made it up. Do I dare put that one and Homo erectus in the same sentence? No I guess not.

Renae said...

How about this one: I saw an animal at the zoo, an antelope type animal, called Gunther's Dik dik. Then of course there is the Wild Ass. I feel like I need to go wash my mouth out with soap now.

Renae said...

Your definition of a mule sounds like you are discribing your own children. jk (sorry, I couldn't help it)

lizS said...

oh, hahaha renae. don't even get me started on YOUR heathens.
i tripped the counter to 2112! heehee!
do you know that john has been talking about hybrid crosses for over a year? it's about time he blogged it i guess.

Bruce said...

hey john did you know my office extention is 2112. cool right.

timpani76 said...

John asks--who names these things by the way?

People with cleaner minds than you (or older and dustier, depending on how you look at it).

I spent a total of 20 hours in a car with Elise (driving to and from Minneapolis, MN), and now everything has become a dirty joke. I hope it wears off soon and my Mormon mind returns.

Bruce said...

once there where three guies whos car broke down. it was nite time and none of them had a phone. "what are we going to do?" "hey, i think i see a farm house over there, lets ask if we can stay there for the night."....oh you said you wanted to clean your mind, this is the wrong joke.

Anonymous said...

I read a while back that Carl Linnaues or something like that i cant spell it and I am not even sure I have the right name anyway...Anyhow… the guy who invented the modern taxonomy system that is used to classify life forms- kingdom, phylum all that- I read that he was pretty much obsessed with sex. Also that we was mind bogglingly cocky, to the point of composing poetry about himself. Sounds familiar….


timpani76 said...

He was cocky huh? Sorry, couldn't resist.

timpani76 said...

I better stop before Renae washes MY mouth out with soap and I get kicked off John's blog. Goodness knows I deserve it. I wonder if someone could invent a mind scrubber for me?

Eyepoke said...

This from the chic who doesnt want to say Sally Muckinfutch?

Eyepoke said...

love ya!

timpani76 said...

Oh, and I seriously thought this post was an April Fool's day joke since I had never heard of a Liger or anything related. Was the part about the wooly mammoth totally serious? That seemed the most farfetched.

Erik told me a sick news tidbit about scientists crossing .01 percent bovine DNA with a human embryo. It only lived three days.

Eyepoke said...

No this whole thing was serious. Including the Mammophant. (Didn't you ever watch Napoleon Dynamite? Theres a Liger in that.)