With EMC's announcement tomorrow of their DMX follow-on,code named "Tigon," there will likely be some questions about what the heck a tigon is. It's a cross between a male tiger and a female lion - not to be confused with a liger, which has the gender roles reversed.
If you like genetic abnormalities, tigons and ligers are pretty blasted interesting. Ligers tend to be very large, while tigons tend to be much smaller and also have somewhat stunted lifespans. An interesting hypothesis based on physiology is linked here.
The photograph that is above left shows a tigon. Its markings are distinctly different from the tiger and lion shown in the photograph on the lower right, which shows the tigon manufacturing process - something that there is not much evidence of in the wild. Who'd a thunk THAT would be on the Internet?
One of the challenges tigons face is their sound. Apparently the lion mother and tigon cubs become confused by the uncharacteristic noises they each make. Then there is the problem that lions are social animals and tigers are solitary. Biologists believe this is probably very confusing. Imagine roaring your head off and having your progeny just walk away like they don't even hear!
The most familiar hybrid, the mule (offspring of a male donkey and female horse) is also sterile but clever researchers from the University of Idaho and Utah State University have found a way to reproduce mules with cloning technology. Somehow I doubt the animals involved with this procedure had the same level of satisfaction as the large cats.
I have to give EMC credit with this one. Maybe it will start a new trend in code naming technology projects after biological science, like a new dedupe technology code named heterogametic sex.