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Interspecies Mating Caught On Film As Snow Monkey Gets Intimate With Deer

Interspecies breeding is a phenomenon found throughout nature, but doesn’t usually involve two species so far apart on the genetic spectrum. One specifically adventurous monkey decided to change all that in 2015 when he attempted to mate with a deer.

On Yakushima, an island of Japan, macaques (known more colloquially as snow monkeys) and sika deer have an almost symbiotic relationship. The monkeys drop food from the treetops for the deer and groom them, while the deer allow the monkeys to ride their backs around the forest floor.

 

When Alexandre Bonnefoy and his team tried to record some of the interactions, he saw their relationship take a bit of a step further. One macaque tried to mate with two different deer, a very rare occurrence in the animal kingdom for two species so far removed. The two species’ genitalia aren’t compatible however, and both attempts failed.

Interspecies breeding has resulted in many hybrids before, such as Ligers (cross between Lion and Tiger), Beefalo (American bison and domestic cow) and Wholphins (dolphins and false killer whales). Those are each pairs much closer genetically than a monkey and a deer.

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