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Monday, 27 April 2015

Chimera

Chimera
The traditional Chimera (ki-mer-aa) is a fire breathing creature with a snake for a tail, the body of a goat or lion, and the heads of a lion and goat. Though the traditional Chimera is impossible in nature in that no species has more than one head and animals can't interbreed with other (completely different) species without human intervention (like tigons or ligers). But unlike most mythical creatures, the Chimera is already real. Though it is a far cry from the traditional Greek Chimera.

Chimerism:
Venus
Venus is a Chimera cat which means that she is her own twin, which means that she has two sets of DNA. Chimerism is caused when two or more embryos in the zygote stage fully fuse together, this leads to the final animal to have a patchwork of different DNA, such as colour, two different blood types, various organ DNA not matching, etc. This condition can occur in humans as well, the most known case belonging to a woman named Lydia Fairchild in 2002. Lydia was denied public assistance when a DNA test showed that she wasn't related to her children and taken to court. When she gave birth to her third child DNA tests also showed that she wasn't related to her baby. A breakthrough came when her lawyer heard of a human chimera in New England (Karen Keegan) and suggested that Lydia might have the same condition. DNA samples were taken from Lydia's extended family and showed that Lydia's children were related to their grandmother. The DNA in Lydia's skin and hair did not match her children's, but the DNA from a cervical smear test did match, proving that she was a Chimera.

Natural Hybrids:
Natural hybrids, though rare do exist. The most famous being the Pizzly or Grolar which is a cross between a Polar bear and a Grizzly bear. Their are also hybrid iguanas (a cross between a female land iguana and a male marine iguana), Clymene dolphins (cross between a spinner dolphin and a striped dolphin),  Australian blacktip shark/Common blacktip shark hybrids, coywolf (cross between a coyote and a wolf), and Cuban crocodile/American crocodile hybrids. These normally occur if the two species are closely related and live in close proximity to each other.

Colour (Chimera):
Bull the Chimera dog


Every Chimera is different but in animals with fur or feathers it can be more obvious than in people. When animal zygotes fuse, if the two (or more) zygotes have different genes for fur or feather colour it will show in the Chimera. The most notable features would normally be on the head, where the chimera's fur colour my look like its split down the middle and may have two different eye or nose colours like Venus. The way it's normally detected in humans is through genetic testing, having two different skin tones, having both male and female reproductive organs, or looking at Blaschko's Lines under UV light, which in a normal human are nearly identical on each half of the body, but in a human chimera the lines can be vastly different on the two haves of the body.

Colour (Hybrid):
Iguana hybrid
Colour depends on the hybrid but most of the time the hybrid will have colours of both parents. For example the iguana hybrid is dark like the marine iguana but has bands of lighter colour from the land iguana,
or the pizzly which has both white and brown fur from both parents.

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