Is There A Hoose Loose? (Possible Horse-Moose Hybrid)

Status: Undetermined (but unlikely)
image A Canadian rancher claims that one of his mares has given birth to a horse-moose hybrid. His main evidence for this is that the mare has a funny looking head. Also, he says that his stallions were both sterilized shortly before the mare got pregnant, and there are no other male horses in the region. So who could the father be but a rogue moose that happened to be wandering by?

Biologists, naturally, are skeptical. Gilles Landry, a biologist with Quebec's parks and wildlife department, says:
"I have serious doubts because there has never been a birth from a moose and a horse reported, even though some have mated. It's more likely that it's a deformed animal."
Lou emailed me a bunch of links to articles about this strange hybrid (Thanks, Lou!) and writes:
Definitely a hoax or mistake. It has a facial deformity that makes it look moose-like. Claims supporting it is a moose hybrid include long legs. Foals have long legs so they can keep up with their mothers. Also it sleeps lying down. Foals do sleep lying down. It's adult horses that sleep standing up. The mare either got impregnated just before the stallions were gelded and the owner got the dates mixed or the father was a colt that hasn't yet been gelded because it wasn't thought old enough to do the do.
I agree with Lou and the biologists. A horse-moose hybrid seems unlikely. Although I suppose it would be biologically possible. But we'll know for sure once the genetic tests are done.

I should start a new gallery devoted to strange hybrids, since it seems like there's been a lot of them reported recently (i.e. the cumato and the cuculoupe.) The strangest hybrid of all would, of course, be a human-ape hybrid, but there remains no evidence that such a creature has existed in modern times (as opposed to prehistoric times), despite the efforts of Russian scientist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov.


Posted on Wed Jul 26, 2006


I think I've actually seen some human-ape hybrids walking around the neighborhood before...

My favorite hybrid has always been the world's largest cat, the Liger. "Gosh!"
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  10:03 AM
Speaking of hybrids (even though this one is definitely photoshopped):
The Cat-Snake:

Posted by BlaM  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  10:20 AM
It's not a hybrid and it would be a difficult one to make happen. A horse/donkey or horse/zebra hybrid is difficult enough (and the offspring is usually sterile, btw). A horse/moose hybrid would be like a cat/dog hybrid. The species are completely unrelated, an easy way to tell is to look at the hooves. Moose are a member of the deer family (cloven hooves).

I've seen lots of horses with long legs and big heads, it's not uncommon. To me, the foal has a bit of a moose-look, but horses don't look much different than moose in the first place.
Posted by Trace  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  12:26 PM
Someone needs to do somethin' about those horses' feet!

On "bunch" link that black horse with the white socks has a MAJOR crack in his left fore.
Posted by Gee...  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  02:20 PM
Moose and horses are not very closely related at all, so I don't think a hybrid is possible without some testtube manipulation of the germ plasm.

The photo proffered looks a lot like a mule to me. A mule is, of course, a horse-donkey hybrid, usually the offspring of a male donkey (a jackass for you romantics) and, as here, a female horse (a mare). If male horse fathers offspring by a female donkey (a Jenny), the resulting colt is known as a hinney. As Trace says, such hybrids are almost always sterile, but they are very common, so much so that every self-respecting farm used to have at least one mule.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  04:40 PM
"The strangest hybrid of all would, of course, be a human-ape hybrid, but there remains no evidence that such a creature has existed in modern times (as opposed to prehistoric times), despite the efforts of Russian scientist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov."

Even though we share 97% or so of our DNA with chimpanzees, we have different karyotypes (how the stuff is packaged into chromosomes)--couldn't happen (again without some sort of very advanced manipulation).
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  in  St. Louis, MO  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  04:47 PM
There's a gallery of strange but real animal hybrids at No morses, hooses or cabbits though.
Posted by Lou  on  Thu Jul 27, 2006  at  12:50 AM
Very cool web site Lou, thx.
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Thu Jul 27, 2006  at  09:15 AM
While I know that it is impossible for such a hybrid I can see from the pictures of the foal why they would have come to that conclusion. Its head is rather odd and moose shaped IMHO
Posted by Emidawg  on  Thu Jul 27, 2006  at  11:33 PM
Grain, the Real Hybrid Animals site had a link to another site with a ton of information on all sorts of hybrids, chromosomes, fertility, longevity and stuff. Even photos of a polar bear/brown bear hybrid in a museum here from about 100 years before that polar bear hybrid shot a little while ago. No hooses or cabbits on there either. (though the link says hybrid cats, the page is hybrid and mutant mammals and birds)
Posted by Lou  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  12:49 AM
Nice, thx again Lou
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  12:04 PM
I contacted the webmaster of the Amazing Animals site as he is very knowldegeable about horses. He has seen several foals with mouths like that and says they usually grow out of it. However, he has a friend whose horse is named "moose-face" because of the overhanging upper lip.

I've seen overhanging lips like that in heavy horses e.g. Shire Horses.
Posted by Sarah (Messybeast)  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  12:29 PM
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