Ask the Explainer. Someone needs to explain mules to the author. Thus, in spite of all the circumstantial evidence of monstrous births, the various creatures of mythology, the many legends and superstitions which have been current, we must, nevertheless, conclude that the possibility of man breeding with animals still runs contrary to all the laws of nature and any of the facts known to science. So there will always be exceptions. There are other factors aside from number of chromosomes. We’re the last Homos on Earth, and breeding between us and great apes is simply impossible. And for that matter are there any other animals besides the mule that this is possible for? Degree of relationship is a continuum, and there’s no mathematically precise rule on whether two kinds of animals will be considered different varieties, subspecies, species, genera, etc. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. (Return  to the corrected sentence.). !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="//";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); on Can Humans Breed With Animals? When the two groups come back into contact with each other many, many years later, they may each have evolved to the point where they can no longer mate. The records reveal an interesting exception in which, although the man was executed, the animal was acquitted. The Kinsey Institute studies revealed that it is now pursued mainly in rural areas. In law, the term bestiality has generally been discontinued. In 1750, one Jacques Farron was convicted and hanged for having intercourse with a female donkey. Called bestiality, this practice has been condemned by almost all religions and legal codes. That doesn’t mean that tales of humans interbreeding with other animals haven’t endured. Groups of organisms tend to drift apart genetically when they get separated by geographical barriers—one might leave to find new food sources, or an earthquake could force them apart. In modern times, bestiality is still practiced. “Actually no such breeding is possible between 2 different species.”. The centaurs, dwelling in the mountains of Thessaly, were half men and half horse. The upper portions of their bodies are typically represented as being like a woman’s, and the lower portions like that of a fish. In spite of all the myths and legends, modern investigations have proved beyond a doubt the sterility of sexual connections between man and beast. We can only wonder at the simple credulity and the imaginative minds of our ancestors. “Pre-humans” and “pre-chimpanzees” interbred and gave birth to hybrids millions of years ago. Many of these mermaids are called sirens, who sexually attract passing seamen, and then lure these victims to their doom. On the basis of this evidence, the court acquitted the donkey, declaring that the poor animal obviously must have been raped! I'm curious if we can make some sort of retard half breed. Different species of the same genus can sometimes interbreed. But if they’re not in the same genus, they cannot breed. Oh, and I like Wikipedia. Can we breed with other animals, too ... Could we mate with other animals ... Neanderthals weren’t our ancestors’ only dalliance with other primates. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. You don’t need to be a PHd’d biologist to know that humans and chimps are simply too far apart to breed successfully. Humans are in the genus homo, and are the only surviving species of such. The further apart two animals are in genetic terms, the less likely they are to produce viable offspring. Artist and scholar Pietro Gaietto has written that "representations of human-animal hybrids always have their origins in religion". If a human were indeed inclined and able to impregnate a monkey, post-zygotic mechanisms might result in a miscarriage or sterile offspring. For instance, the Old Testament decrees the death penalty (by stoning) for animal sex contacts. Last week, scientists announced that the human gene pool seems to include DNA from Neanderthals. It’s one thing to give a pig a human lung, but one experiment blurred the line between human and animal in a way that no other has. Got a question about today’s news? Intra-genus hybridization is one of the mechanisms of evolution. Humans and chimps share about 95% of genes in common, the major block to interbreeding is a different number of chromosomes (46 in humans, 48 in the great apes), but a similar state of affairs exsists with horses and donkeys (64 in horses, 62 in donkeys) and since mules are breed without much trouble a human/chimp hybrid (47 chromosomes) should be possible too. Przewalski’s horse, for example, has 33 pairs of chromosomes instead of the 32 most horses have, but it can interbreed with regular equines anyway—the offspring takes the average and ends up with 65 chromosomes. Despite the absence of any scientific proof, great numbers of people still cling to the deep-rooted belief that humans can breed with animals and produce offspring. Throughout the United States, for instance, it is included in a sort of catch-all statute under the title of “sodomy,” which is usually defined as “sexual crimes against nature.” This covers not only animal sex contacts, but also oral-genital acts, anal coitus, and in fact any sexual contact which precludes the possibility of procreating offspring, human offspring, that is.…. Horses and donkeys along with zebras are in the same genus, equus. Later on, Christianity adopted the same harsh attitude toward sexual contact between humans and animals, except that, during the Middle Ages, executions were usually by burning instead of stoning. Roman and Grecian mythology is especially rich in such myths, the most familiar of which is the Greek legend of Leda, who is said to have produced her beautiful daughter, Helen, after intercourse with Zeus in the shape of a swan. All rights reserved. It is very likely that in ancient days, many of the monstrous births which resulted in 1962 from the mothers’ use of the drug thalidomide during pregnancy, would have been ascribed to sexual relations with animals. In seeking reasons for the widespread belief in the plausibility of human-animal breeding, we cannot ignore the subject of monstrous births, or what is technically termed by physicians as teratology. I know if a male donkey breeds with a female horse you get a mule. The offspring of such a union would be half-ape, not half-monkey. And you'll never see this message again. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. Horses and donkeys, wolves and dogs, lions and tigers, and polar bears and brown bears are some of the more well know examples of intra-genus hybridization. His syndicated newspaper columns include “What’s Wrong With Marriage” and “For Love or Money.” Holder of a degree in jurisprudence, he practiced law for over SO years. There are many cases of animals of the same genus but different species producing offspring. You can cancel anytime. In fact, there are recorded accounts of sexual contact between humans and practically every kind of animal. And, of course, there are the innumerable mythical monsters mentioned in the folklore of ancient peoples: centaurs, fauns, the minotaur, sphinxes, mermaids, etc. That suggests that humans interbred with their primate cousins at some point before the Neanderthals went extinct about 30,000 years ago. Neanderthals weren’t our ancestors’ only dalliance with other primates. Some closely related species can mate even if they have different numbers of chromosomes.


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