What Are Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybridization?

Advantages of hybridization include passing along favorable traits and prolonging the survival of a threatened or endangered species, but a disadvantage is that hybrid animals have more difficulty finding mates and successfully breeding. Hybridization occurs naturally and through human initiation. It sometimes creates dominant genes that help offspring survive, but more often fails to pass along life-sustaining genes, according to the New World Encyclopedia.

Hybridization naturally occurs more often in plants than animals, say authors at NWE. Animal hybrids, such as the mating between two butterfly species, can fail to pass along brilliant colors or camouflage that protect butterflies from predators. Similarly, cross breeding between white-tailed deer and mule deer produces offspring that inherit neither parent’s strategies for avoiding predators. Sometimes, however, hybridization creates new genes that help organisms survive, especially in changing climates.