Caution: Species Crossing

This is the title of an article in the September 2002 issue of Natural History magazine, pp. 62-71. The title page has an abstract, “Hybridization often results in deformation and death, but sometimes it gives birth to new species.”

This article by Menno Schilthuizen makes a point that we hybridizers have to remember. Probably the article will be available online (http://www.naturalhistory.com/ )next month, but you might want to stop by the library earlier if you’re not a subscriber.

I’m sorry-- You just need to tell me. You’ve peaked my intrest and I cannot wait to get that issue. Can you tell me a small something about this danger? I have heard something about that too, although I cannot exactly remember what was I’d heard.

The article gives examples of hybrids which do not prosper because they are deformed or are otherwise abnormal–but also some examples of hybrids which seem better adapted to their situations than either parent is. If you’d like to read the article, I suspect that you can find Natural History in most libraries. Try the one at your school.