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article imageEclyse, the Zebra-Horse

By geozone     Jul 2, 2007 in World
One-year-old Eclyse is the product of the mating of a horse and a zebra. Her unique markings demonstrate she has inherited genes from both her parents as she looks like a zebra whose stripes have been partially covered up with white paint.
Most zorses (zebra-horse crossbreeds) have stripes covering their entire body but Eclyse has them only on her face and rump.
Eclyse was conceived after her mother, a female horse named Eclipse, had a fling with a zebra she had taken a fancy to while "vacationing" in Italy. The horse had been taken to a ranch in Italy by her keepers at the Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock German safari park where she could roam freely with the other horses. It so happened the ranch also had a number of zebras, one of whom is named Ulysses and is the sire of Eclyse.
Eclyse was not born until after her mother had returned to the German safari park. The birth of the zorse took Eclipse's keepers by surprise. Now Eclyse is a featured attraction at the park.
As hybrids are typically sterile, there probably will not be any progeny from Eclyse. In fact, had a female zebra and a male horse hooked up romantically, Eclyse could not have been conceived. Crossbreeding is difficult enough because of the difference in the number of chromosomes between two species. But Nature also dictates that when crossbreeding takes place, the male must have the smaller number of chromosomes.
The zebra has 44 chromosomes, the horse 64. Eclyse, progeny of the two, has a number of chromosomes which is somewhere between those two numbers.
Sometimes a little horseplay can produce unexpected results.
More about Zebra, Horse, Zorse