Animal Adoptions

Some Strange Choices

Mammalian Hybrids




Animal adoptions, in which animals of one kind adopt the young of another, occur both with and without human intervention. Within the context of hybridization, the fact that one kind of animal will raise the young of another is significant because many mammals and birds imprint on whatever kind of animal raises them, that is, when they reach sexual maturity they will choose a mate of the same kind as the foster parent who raised them in preference to a mate of his or her own kind (read a discussion of imprinting elsewhere on this website). Certain animals, in particular, dogs, cats, hens and canaries, are famous for their willingness to adopt the young almost any creature. The videos below give some idea of how strange the pairings in these adoptions can be.

Golden eagle hatches and raises goslings:

Chimp adopts genet:

Cats adopting chick and rabbits; Dog adopting cat

Hen adopts ostriches:

Wild crow adopts and raises kitten:

Eagle adopts chickens:

Baboon adopts bushbaby:

Baboons kidnap and raise puppies:

Baboon adopts chicken:

Barn owl adopts chickens:

Orangutan adopts tiger cubs:

Orangutan adopts dog:

Cat adopts and nurses three ducklings:

Duck adopts kittens:

Dog adopts guinea pig:

Dog adopts piglets:

Tiger adopts piglets:

Cat adopts piglet:

Peregrine falcon adopts and rears Herring Gulls:

Cat adopts squirrel:

Hen adopts ducklings:

Turkey hatching and caring for chickens:

Dog adopts opossum:

Dog adopts deer:

Cat adopts Australian possum:

Cat adopts rabbit:

Cat adopts hedgehogs:

Hen adopts quail:

Hen adiots ducklings:

Canary fostering Red-Crested Cardinals (Paroaria coronata):

Canary fostering Gouldian Finches (Chloebia gouldiae ):

Most shared on

Human Origins: Are we hybrids?

On the Origins of New Forms of Life

Mammalian Hybrids

Cat-rabbit Hybrids: Fact or fiction?

Famous Biologists

Dog-cow Hybrids

Georges Cuvier: A Biography

Prothero: A Rebuttal

Branches of Biology

Dog-fox Hybrids

Animal Adoptions - Some Strange Choices - ©