Can a deer and antelope breed?

Can a deer an antelope breed to form a hybrid?


5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No. In order for two different species to interbreed, they must be closely related. Generally, animals within the same genus can interbreed - for example, that most famous of hybrids, the mule, is a cross between a male donkey and female horse, both of which belong to the genus Equus (the offspring of a male horse and female donkey is called a hinny, incidentally). Depending on how closely related they are, species in different genera but the same family can sometimes interbreed too - for example, the puma and the leopard both belong to the family Felidae, but the genera Puma and Panthera respectively, and can interbreed to produce a hybrid known as a pumapard. Hybrids are often sterile, but where they are fertile it is an indication that the parent species are very closely related - for example, this is the case with the genus Canis. All members of this genus - wolves, dogs, dingoes, coyotes and jackals - can interbreed and produce fertile young.

    Being closely related basically means that two species share a greater amount of genetic material with each other than with other animals. Beyond family level, two species cease to share enough genetic material for the egg and sperm to 'recognise' each other and combine to form a viable embryo, which is why you can't breed animals from different families like, say, a dog and a cat - a dog sperm simply wouldn't be able to fertilise a cat egg, and vice versa. Antelope and deer belong to separate families, Bovidae and Cervidae respectively. They are too distantly related to be able to breed.

    Kelly - your answer sort of makes it sound like all bovids are antelope. As I'm sure you're aware, that's not the case - animals like cattle and buffalo are bovids, but not antelope. Antelope is a catch-all term for bovids with long, slender legs, such as wildebeest, eland, topi and so on. Also, the name of the deer family is Cervidae, not Carvidae - typing error?

    In addition, different species don't necessarily have to be in the same genus to breed, just the same family, though obviously hybrids are more common between members of the same genus because they are more closely related to each other.

    By the way, the plural of genus is genera!

    Source(s): I used to be a zookeeper and have studied animals all my life.
    • Pavlos3 years agoReport

      You saying this makes me want to ask your grade point average. Look up toast of Botswana and then you will see that they can mate.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What you have to understand is that deer and antelope are not a species. Antelope is a term used for even-toed ungulates found in the family Bovidae, and the term deer is used for animals which are found in the family Carvidae.

    For two animals to be able to interbreed and create a hybrid offspring they would have to be in the same genus, such as lions and tigers which mate and produce ligers (male lion + female tiger) and tigons (male tiger + female lion). The species found in the deer and antelope families are completely different animals who do not share the same family nor the same genuses, so no it is not possible for any of them to create hybrid offspring.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I wouldnt think so because they are so far apart genetically, and the above link talks above different antelope species mating or different deer species mating not an antelope and a deer mating.

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  • 3 years ago

    Look it up its possible.

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  • Dan
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Yes it's been known to happen.

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