Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Horse-donkey Hybrid

Cross between a horse and a donkey (ass) that produces either a mule (female is a horse) or a hinny (female is a donkey). Since horses have a diploid number of 2N 64 chromosomes while donkeys have 2N 62, the union of their haploid gametes (32 31) produces an aneuploid F1 hybrid with 2N 63; an odd number of chromosomes generally produces viable but eventually sterile individuals owing to meiotic difficulties. In this specific cross, the hybrids uniformly possess the mitochondrial DNA of the maternal species. Phenotypic differences are epigenetic, owing to parent-of-origin effects during differentiation and development.

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