chumans and humillas?

**Okay, so horses and donkeys can get it on and produce cute little mules, and one can combine mandarin oranges and grapefruits to make the tasty tangelo. So what I’m wondering is if a human (so inclined) can successfully procreate with other closely related species like chimps or gorillas? **

IF there is an answer to this, it would be too scary for me to want to know.

Can they? It’s impossible to say. There’s no obvious barrier that would prevent hybridisation since far more distantly related species rouitnely cross-breed and even create fertile offspring.

Have they? N?. There’s no evidence that there ever has been a humanXchimp or humanXgorilla hybrid.

One difficulty involves chromosomes: humans have 46, gorillas & chimps have 48.

That could be a problem for producing a fertile hybrid, though not insurmountable since other species with different chromosome numbers can produce fertile hybrids. It wouldn’t necessarily be a barrier to hybridization in general.
This question comes up periodically on the boards. Previous discussions include the following:
Has there ever been an animal-human hybrid?

Human chimp hybrid,remotely possible?

Half-man, half-ape?

O.K. then, what about man and gorrillas?

Like the man said, there are plenty of other species where difference in chromosome count doesn’t inhibit hybridisation. Horses and Przwalski horses are perfectly interfertile despite different chromosome counts, cattle and bison are somewhat interfertile despite differing chromosome numbers while horses and donkeys produce sterile offspring depsite different numbers of chromosomes.

One extra pair isn’t going to present any unsurmountable problem by itself provided the difference is just the result of chromosomal fusion or splitting. Since this is exactly what accounts for the differing chromosome counts in humans and chimps it shouldn’t be a problem by itself.

The ethical issues surrounding such an experiment pretty much limit it to the “mad scientist” type. Even still, I’m unaware of any attempts to create a chimp-gorilla hybrid either. If that experiment were successful, it sure would raise some eyebrows.

I’ve probably asked this question before, but have chimps and bonobos every cross bred?

Just as point of reference:

Estimated time since:

chimp and bonobo lines split: 2-3M years ago
Human and chimp/bonobo line split: ~6M years ago
Gorilla and human/chimp/bonobo line split: 7-8M years ago

Probably. There are several suspected chimp/bonobo hybrids in various institurions around the world but it’s hard to prove conclusively. The trouble is that until quite recently nobody bothered much with classifying chimps. They were all chimps and all housed together regardless of where they were captured. As a result almost all captive chimps these days are subspecific hybdids at the very least. That makes it next to impossible to prove beyond doubt whether an individual is a cross-specific hybrid. It’s like trying to establish whether the offpsringof a mongrel dog is the result of mating with a wolf. The genetics of the parents are such a mess that there aren’t any reliable markers to work with.

These days of course chimps are segregated based on subspecies so they are more useful for conservation work, so there’s no chance at all of a two different species being housed otgether an allowed to breed. You’d need to have some valid reason for deliberately hybridising for that to occur in most places.

So we’ll probably never know for certain, but it seems very likely. At the very least we can say that nobody is surpised that such hybrids are thought to exist.

Did anyone else read the title and was aghast at the prospect of a human/chinchilla cross, or was it just me?

Definitely not just you.

Yeah, I agree that few scientists would be surprised. But, given the effort that’s been put into producing hybrids of species of felines, equines, etc, it seem kind of surprising that no one has tried to establish the cross fertility between chimps and bonobos.

You have to remember that live specimens of species were only positively identified 30 years ago. They may have been captured prior to that, but they would have simply been caged with other chimps. Once live specimens were identified and captured the ground rules for zoos were pretty strict.

Hybridisation of other species is invariably done by private individuals or commecial concerns that couldn’t gain access to highly endgangered bonobos for what are ultimately frivilous experiments of no conservtaion value. I’m sure it would be easy enough to collect semen from bonobo and use it to try to fertilise chimps but I don’t know if anyone with bonobos would allow it.

I guess it’s a bit like asking why nobody has tried to hybridise ivory billed woodpeckerts with chickens. The damn things are so rare that it’s not really a high priority.

I think something that came up in a previous thread was that given how prevelant human-animal sex is, and given that no cases of human-anything hybrids have turned up to date, either in real life or mythology. It’s probably impossible or very rare for such a thing to occur.

I was going to jump in with a George W. joke, but it’s way too easy… :wink:

While human sex with domestic animals is fairly widespread human sex with wild animals is exceedingly rare for obvious reasons. Given that the only potential candiates for human hybridisation are all wild species I can’t see that any such conclusion can be drawn.

Has there ever been an account, even of the most dubious kind, of a human having sex with a great ape? I can only think of one mythical account of a human having sex with a primate and no accounts at all of sex with great apes. In contrast human sex with pigs, dogs, horses etc. are rife throughout mythology as well as being well documented in the real world.

It seems more probable that human sex with apes has never occured than that it has occured.

I bet it’s also rarer to have sex with an animal that could kill you as easily as some apes could…

I don’t know about that. Maybe not in recent history, when humans are more separate from apes geographically.

Aww I dunno. I’m not sure it would be worse to have a gorrilla rip you head off while you’re trying to screw it or to have a jackal bite your nutsack off in the same position. I know which would be more embarassing.

Having sex with any wild animal would be difficult. Those that are large enough to do the deed are also large enough to remove important bits.

But humans have more geographically overlap with apes now than ever before. That’s a large part of why apes are in such trouble. The apes took refuge in deep rainforest for the most part where humans can’t survive. With modern technology people can live in those areas and they kill apes and destroy their habitat as a result.

I don’t think it’s lack of access that stops people having sex with apes, I think it’s the risk involved in finding willing partners. Propositioning a gorilla and being rejected is likely to result in more than having a drink thrown in your face.

I heared on NPR that the anti-cloning bill has a provision for stiff penalties for creating chimeras (sic) by crossbreeding humans and animals. I haven’t been following the status of this so all you monkey#*%&ers better get while the getting is good.

Sure. A dog can do plenty of damage, but we know people abuse them that way sometimes. I think it’s probably an addition disincentive that some apes could pull your arms off before you had time to remove your pants.

Fair point.