…and speaking of bad monkeys

The night before we left for Vegas, Lisa and I caught a Discovery Channel documentary about Oliver, a primate whose strange appearance raised speculation that he might be a humanzee, or human-chimp hybrid. Early in the show when the narrator asked, in that earnest tone that the narrators of crank-science documentaries always use, “Could Oliver really be the offspring of a human and an ape?”, my immediate reaction was “No freaking way.”

While I was right about this particular case—DNA tests ultimately confirmed that Oliver is just a funny-looking chimp—according to Wikipedia, the larger question of whether humans might be cross-fertile with other primate species remains unanswered. Which kinda creeps me out.

The documentary also touched on the subject of other, definitely existing hybrids, like ligers, which I had heard of but never seen:

This is Hercules. His father is a lion and his mother is a tiger. His extraordinary size is a side-effect of hybridization—ligers, the dozen or so that exist, are the largest cats in the world, reaching twelve feet in length when fully grown. Like their tiger moms, they enjoy swimming:

Additional cute/freakish hybrid animal pictures may be found here.

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2 Responses to …and speaking of bad monkeys

  1. frabjousdave says:

    Wouldn’t it creep you out more if the question of human-primate hybrids were answered?

    • Matt Ruff says:

      Actually, no, because the only way I wouldn’t have heard of this before is if it had been answered in the negative.

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