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Posted by bio_man   November 29, 2021   5692 views

A wholphin is a rare fertile hybrid born from mating a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) (mother), and a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). Although they have been reported to exist in the wild, the first captive wholphin was born in 1945, where a bottlenose dolphin and a male false killer whale shared a pool.

The wholphin's size, color and shape are intermediate between the parent species. For example, an adult wholphin has 66 teeth - intermediate between a bottlenose (88 teeth) and false killer whale (44 teeth). They are smaller than a false killer whale but are larger than a normal bottlenose.

Normally, when two different, yet similar species mate, such as a female horse and a male donkey forming a mule, the progeny is expected to be sterile. In wholphins, however, meiosis - which is the cellular process responsible for the formation of gametes (sex cells) - occurs normally. For meiosis to occur normally, the homologous chromosomes have to separate normally during meiosis I. In wholphins, the set of chromosomes inherited from its parents are not homologous, but its parents do share the same number of chromosomes -- 44 chromosomes found in each species. As a result, the Wholphin also has 44 chromosomes. Gametes produced by these parents have 22 chromosomes each, so 22 pairs of chromosomes in Wholphins undergo meiosis, such that these chromosomes act as homologous chromosomes.

Animals Ocean Meiosis Fertility Dolphin False Killer Whale
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