(X is going off on a tangent alert)
There has been some interesting comments on my blog about the love story between my parakeet and my lovebird, and my belief that they probably could have babies since they are both varieties of parrots. One comment mentions that horses and donkeys can have a baby, called a mule, but that the mule can’t have babies.
I know that that’s a widely held belief, but it’s not always true. I just googled it and found several articles about multiple mules producing offspring.
In fact, I have a friend in town who owns the local pet shop, and also has a farm on the outskirts of town with animals from all over the world. He likes to “cross breed” his animals, like his zebra with his donkey, and his emu with his ostrich, different “species” of animals that can’t naturally interbreed because they live on different continents.
I put “cross breed” and “species” in quotes, because as a Biblical creationist, I believe God created all the various “Kinds” of animals, the bear kind, cat kind, dog kind, parrot kind, horse kind, etc. After that, ordinary genetic diversity took on from there.
I am a bird watcher. There are many varieties of sparrows, for instance, and it is very difficult to tell them apart. One has a spot here, another has a spot there. The only reason they look different from each other is that they live in different places and don’t mix up their genetics with other sparrows.
Take dogs, for example. There are many varieties of dogs, and they can all inter-breed with each other, as well as wolves, coyotes, dingoes, etc. They have to be kept separately, in different isolated genetic groups in order to stay looking like the breed they are. “Mutts”, my favorite variety of dog, are an offspring of different breeds of dogs. If we did not KNOW they were the same “species” “canis familiaris” they would be named different “species’ like wolves and coyotes are.
But, they are all in the dog Kind. Animals within the same Biblical “kind” can have babies. “Cross-breed” implies breeding something with something different than itself.
I can remember when the word “Species” was defined like this:
“If two animals can mate and produce fertile offspring then they are the same species.”
But, that definition is not used any more. The title “species” is given to every little variation that pops up, even for different colors, like the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) and the Red Wolf (Canis rufus).
As I said yesterday:
Horses can have babies with zebras and donkeys. Whales can have babies with dolphins, and tigers can have babies with lions. I won’t be surprised if a lovebird can have a baby with a parakeet.
Here’s some I forgot yesterday: Camels can have babies with llamas and leopards can have babies with lions. What keeps them looking like different “species” is the fact that they live far away from each other, on different continents. It has nothing to do with their biology.
So, as I said above, I believe God created all the various “Kinds” of animals and then, ordinary genetic diversity went on from there.
Interesting tidbit of information: The concept of the organization of animals into Kingdoms, Phylums, Classes, etc, that shows “evolutionary” relationships, was developed by Carolus Linnaeus, a Biblical Creationist (like me). His system, taxonomy, grouped the different animals into their Biblical “kinds”. Hmm.
Thanks to Penny, my cockatiel, you don’t have to hear more on this topic. She says it is time to scratch her little head.