A Camel-horse Hybrid?

Mammalian Hybrids


A diligent scholar is like a bee who takes honey from many different flowers and stores it in his hive.
John Amos Comenius
norris and rowe circus

Camel-horse hybrids have rarely been reported, but the newspaper account quoted below does describe one case in which a mare housed with circus camels later gave birth to an abnormal “colt” that had evident traits of camel. The story appeared in March 29, 1902 issue of the San Francisco Call, a newspaper published in San Francisco, California (access source).


Queer Freak Is Born at the Ranch of Samuel Parker Near Milpitas

SAN JOSE, March 28.— A curiosity in the shape of a colt with a camel’s head and one large eye in the center of the forehead was born this morning at the ranch of Samuel Parker, near Milpitas. The animal otherwise is a perfect specimen of a thoroughbred colt and well developed. A nose was lacking and as it could only breathe through its mouth it lived but a short time. The jaws and lower part of the head are those of a camel. The lower jaw is very long, while the upper one and the lip are short. On the upper lip is hair the same as on a camel’s lip and the mouth resembles that of the humped animal. Above the mouth is an abnormal eye, as large as two ordinary ones. This optic is open. Above on either side of this cyclopic member are two other eyes. They are covered with skin, but can be plainly felt. The ears are those of a horse, but are turned around more than ordinarily. The mother of the colt was at the racetrack this winter while Norris & Rowe’s [Circus] show was in quarters there and the monstrosity is supposed to have been due to a prenatal influence.

Or mightn’t it, just conceivably, have been due to the mare having mated with one of Norris & Rowe’s camels?

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By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).

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