Monday, April 18, 2005

Animal of the Week April 18, 2005 -- Interspecies loving

Hello Lovelies,

This week's animal of the week is a tricky one, normally I just rattle off the latin name, put the common name in brackets after, and then launch into the informative and entertaining text about the animals. But, in a break with style, this is not about a whole species, rather it's about Kekaimalu and her un-named daughter -- the worlds only known wholphins! 19 year old Kekaimalu was born from an unholy union between a female bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and a male false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). Now, the saucy thing has gone and had a female calf with another bottle nosed dolphin. Typically species hybrids are infertile (mule's, for example, so rarely are able to have offspring that such an event is considered a portent of Armageddon in parts of north Africa), so no-one expected the only wholphin to be able to reproduce. The convention for naming hybrids (who knows about mule) is to combine the first part of the sire species' common name with the latter part of the dam species' common name, hence wolphin--in researching this week's animal I came across the example of li-liger (cat sired by a lion with liger dam [male lion X female tiger]), so really this new thing is a do-wolphin! Other hybrids include ligers and tigons, leguars, lijaguleps (I kid you not). Some of you may be interested in this website, which contains, among the many battles, an account of a fight between a lijagulep and a giant anteater


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