So, we all know that hybrids are infertile, that's the definition of a species, but how come some parrot species can interbreed and still be fertile. For instance a military macaw and a blue and gold macaw can have offspring that are fertile and can breed to make further hybrid macaws. These two species are definitely different species and not sub-species. How is this possible?

  • $\begingroup$ Minor comment - not all hybrids are infertile. 'Hybridisation' can occur between two e.g. breeds of the same species and can therefore produce fertile offspring. $\endgroup$
    – user438383
    Dec 14 '20 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I know that sub-species can interbreed to create fertile offspring because they are in fact the same species. However, military macaws and blue and gold macaws are separate species and therefore should not have fertile offspring. Although thank you for clarifying in case it wasn't clear in my original post $\endgroup$ Dec 14 '20 at 14:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "hybrids are infertile, that's the definition of a species" is not accurate - it may be a definition but certainly not the definition (and completely fails for asexually reproducers). Remi's answer at biology.stackexchange.com/a/39669/27148 is a good related read. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 14 '20 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ Yes but that still doesn't really answer my question. Macaws reproduce sexually and therefore still come under that definition of a species. I'm not trying to argue I've done so much digging to find an answer to this and just can't. $\endgroup$ Dec 15 '20 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @RowanBlackwell-Cronie Did you read the answer I linked? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 15 '20 at 17:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.