Human Chimp Hybrid?

Tue Jul 16 09:00:00 EST 1991

   Vince Cate writes:

> it looks like nobody has published about experiments attempting to
> cross a Human and a Chimpanzee. .......
> I found stories (legends?) of human ape crosses but
> these were never well substantiated

  Sounds like National Enquirer time to me.  Just the ethical
implications of any such an experiment would deter any
reputable scientist from performing it.

> I am looking for different animal
> species that can cross.

   Why limit yourself to animals?  As a (rather uneducated)
guess some 1-4% of all flowering plant genera are known
hybirdizers.  That is, their taxonomy is very difficult
because of a high tendency to hybridize in nature.  The
fact that one can force hybridization in the lab is neither
new information nor very surprising.  We expect, based on
current theories of speciation, that a large percentage of
sister species will be at the stage of "pre-mating
isolation mechanisms in place but post-mating isolation
mechanisms not yet evolved".  The interesting question is
why some groups go on to evolve complete isolation while
others remain only partially isolated or members of
hybrid swarms.  In this regard plants may be fundamentally
different from animals.

Samuel M. Scheiner
Department of Biological Sciences
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois 60115
Phone:  (815) 753-7847
Fax:    (815) 753-0461
Bitnet: t80sms1 at niu

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