Why are there no new bird species?

Asked June 4, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

I was thinking about how breeders mix dog breeds like poodles + cocker spaniel = cock a poo. Why do birds not do this? Like toucan + parrot = toucarrot? Has anyone else ever considered this?

Franklin County Ohio

4 Responses

Crossing poodles and cocker spaniels are crossing within a single species - dog. It is very hard to cross species. There have been some attempts at hybrid birds but they tend to be infertile. This is what happens when you cross a muscovy (which, although called a duck is not really a duck) with a common duck the offspring are referred to as mule ducks because they are infertile like the mule (a cross between a horse and a donkey).

Thank you Dr Jacob, for your reply. I can understand the infertility you speak of but I thought that a bird is a bird, same as a dog is a dog. I understand that a cat and a dog can't breed because they are of differing species however with birds it would seem that they are of the same species or is there something I am missing here? I also understand your reference to the muscovy and the duck but they are, in essence, both birds are they not? Even if not both ducks. The infertility would seem to be the best reason to not interbreed them I guess. That I had not considered. Again I thank you so much!!

j a c k r o b e r t s - Asker of unusual questions

Birds is a classification - like mammal, reptile, insect - not species. There are many different species of birds. Different species do not typically mate.

Thanks, that clears it up for me.