Photo: Interspecies Sex: Evolution's Hidden Secret?



The world's first recorded polar bear-grizzly bear hybrid sits mounted in the Idaho home of hunter Jim Martell on January 12, 2007. DNA tests showed that the bear, which was shot in the Canadian Arctic last year, had a grizzly father and a polar bear mother.

Although the hybrid bear does not constitute a new species, evidence has been gathering in recent years that animal hybrids can form unique species more often than scientists previously believed, according to a review article in the journal Nature. Hybrid speciation is already well documented in plants, and recent examples include insects and fish.

Photograph by Troy Maben/AP Photo


NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

ADVERTISEMENT

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S PHOTO OF THE DAY

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.