I was wondering if animals with variable chromosome counts might be responsible for some of the mutations resulting in new species. The raccoon dog af Asia comes to mind. Also I have heard some of Africa,s grazers have this same trait. If they just happened to mate up with an animal of a different species that was carrying an equal # of chromsomes would the off spring be potentialy viable?
Theraccoon dog comes to mind for … what, exactly? It’s not a hybrid between a raccoon and a dog, if that’s what you meant.
The raccoon dog has a variable chromosome count.
A variable chromosome count doesnt let it mate with other species.
The only thing that determines whether hybrids will be viable is the relative genetic closeness of the male and female. Having the same number of chromosomes, if you’re not closely related, doesn’t do you any good.
Now, keep in mind that “closely related” can mean you’re as closely related as a llama and a camel-- which are surprising distant relatives who can interbreed.
What matters for animals being able to produce viable offspring is not chromosome count. What matters is having DNA which is similar enough for all the chromosomes to be able to find matching partners during meiosis. This can happen with different chromosome counts so long as all the matching information is there - for example, if one animal has 23 chromosome pairs and the other has 24, but two of the chromosomes of the one with 24 nearly match one of the chromosomes of the one with 23 when lined up end-to-end, you can still have successful meiosis. On the other hand, if you have the same number of chromosomes but the information on the chromosomes is completely different, you can’t have successful meiosis.