Weird Nature 14 Utterly Strange Animals That Are The Result Of Selective Breeding  

Melissa Brinks
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Science has done a lot of things for humanity, but when you use science for selective breeding, it can create some seriously horrifying examples of genetic engineering. When people talk about "genetically modified" things, most think of genetically modified foods, not animals. But there are animals that exist because of selective breeding, making them unique creations of our own, no matter how bizarre or ugly they may be.

Selective breeding is a process that usually takes time. A simple crossbreed is just two animals mating together to create a new breed, such as two different types of dogs that create a mutt. Artificial selection and selective breeding, on the other hand, are a deliberate attempt to breed animals for particular characteristics, such as a certain color of fur or a particular skin pattern. Sometimes that makes for beautiful hybrids, but in the case of some of these animals, it makes for some rather uncanny creations.

Lykoi Cats Look Like Lycanthropes


Lykoi Cats Look Like Lycanthro... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 14 Utterly Strange Animals That Are The Result Of Selective Breeding
Photo: Christine Auverdin Boulanger/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The origin of lykoi cats is a bit of a mystery. These cats are popular because they look like mini werewolves, which is how it got its nickname the "Werewolf Cat." The gene responsible for the werewolf-like appearance of lykoi cats appears to have developed on its own. The particular pattern of baldness is a genetic mutation unrelated to that of a sphynx cat. Now, breeders are actively trying to popularize the mutation and as of May 2017, Lykoi cats can be shown in The International Cat Association shows under Championship status.

The Emoji Python Is Always Smiling


The Emoji Python Is Always Smi... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 14 Utterly Strange Animals That Are The Result Of Selective Breeding
Photo:  Justin Kobylka/Youtube

Why have a normal snake pattern when you could have a snake covered in smiley faces? Justin Kobylka, a snake breeder, spent eight years breeding this snake to have its unique smiley-face pattern. The snake's coloring is normal for an albino ball python, but breeding it to have three complete smiley faces on its back took time and effort. The pattern is a mere cosmetic difference and confers no benefit or harm, other than that all of Kobylka's hard work in breeding the snake means it's worth over $4,000. 

The Budapest Short-Faced Tumbler Certainly Earns Its Name


The Budapest Short-Faced Tumbl... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 14 Utterly Strange Animals That Are The Result Of Selective Breeding
Photo:  Jim Gifford/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Budapest short-faced tumbler has an apt name. Its face, especially in comparison to its large eyes, is quite small. Its beak is also considerably smaller, which can lead to feeding and hatching problems for young birds. Initially bred to fly higher than the average pigeon, the Budapest short-faced tumbler has since become a fancy breed usually reserved for showing. Raising them is a tough gig for breeders, as they often require hand feeding and may experience a variety of health problems due to generations of breeding with small populations.

This Bird Is Bred To Look Like The Number Seven


This Bird Is Bred To Look Like... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 14 Utterly Strange Animals That Are The Result Of Selective Breeding
Photo:  Creative Commons/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.5

The gibber italicus canary looks more like a cartoon vulture than its cute yellow origin. Deliberately bred for its bizarre posture, which ideally makes it look like the number seven, this canary breed has sparse feathers and a nervous disposition that makes it ill-suited as a pet for anybody but expert breeders. This canary variant was produced after years of inbreeding to create its strange shape and feathers. While some selective breeding experiments can be cute, this one is more than a little bit creepy. What's even creepier is that its unclear why canary enthusiasts wanted to make this bird in the first place.