Psst…come here. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.
Did you know that reptiles can be hybridized? The math is simple: take 2 different species, put them together in a dark room with a little mood music, and ba-da-bing ba-da-boom, you get wicked-awesome baby hybrid reptiles.
Okay, maybe it’s not that simple. But you get the idea.
An Intro to Hybrid Reptiles
The subject of hybrid reptiles is hotly debated. For example, this article from Reptiles Magazine strongly argues against breeding two different species of Phelsuma geckos together. And yet there’s a whole website devoted to mutt reptiles! But it’s not always an issue of snobbery, so get your nose back down here—there’s a whole stew of ethics involved, too. When breeders mix two pools of very different DNA, the results can be infertile, riddled with birth defects, or worse: stillborn. And even if the offspring turn out healthy, disposition and care requirements require a good bit of guesswork. Furthermore, hybrids that get bred to purebloods can destroy valuable bloodlines.
*Whew* Now that’s out of the way,
THESE THINGS ARE COOL LOOKING!!!
Lizards are a lot harder to hybridize. Not only are the genetics more complicated, but those who wish to hybridize lizards (for example, Tiliqua species) face especially strong antagonism. But some have managed to do it inside a genus, and subspecies crosses are fairly common in the wild. Also, don’t Google “lizard hybrids”…you wouldn’t BELIEVE how many conspiracy articles exist about a lizard-human hybrid Armageddon. *insert eye roll*
Hybrid Turtles & Tortoises
Yup, happens here too.
Bottom line: Hybrid reptiles are not sustainable animals for the pet trade. But they are incredibly beautiful. If you feel up to the challenge of adding one of these beautifully unusual herps to your collection, visit Mesozoic Reptiles or the classifieds at HybridHerps.com.
If you could cross any two or three reptile species, what would you do?
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