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True-Breeding Hybrid

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Hybrids of the same species mix can produce more of the same hybrid type.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
zarpaulus on Apr 3rd 2018 at 6:49:47 PM
Last Edited By:
zarpaulus on Jun 8th 2018 at 9:23:29 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

In real life, hybrids between different species are often sterile, which precludes the possibility of their further hybridizing. But there are some exceptions and if there are enough hybrids of the same two species they might be able to produce a new species combining the two.

In Real Life this is called hybrid speciation.

See also Half-Human Hybrid, contrast with the Heinz Hybrid produced from hybrid parents of different combinations.


Examples

Comic Books

  • Monstress: Arcanics are the descendants of the immortal Ancients and their assorted human lovers over the past few centuries. Most consider them to have become a distinct species.

Literature

  • The War Gods: Half-elves aren't quite a stable sixth race, but they come close. If two half-elves have children, those kids will be half-elven even if the elven ancestors are several generations back. (A half-elf - elf pairing also produces half-elven children, but half-elf - human means the children are humans.)
  • Chronicles of the Emerged World: When humans first entered the then elven-dominated Great Land many centuries in the series' past, the intermingling of the two races led to the creation of the race of the half-elves. While the elves eventually left the Great Land, the half-elves had by then become numerous enough to form their own nation in the Land of the Days and become the Great Land's dominant race... at least until their near-total genocide by Aster the Tyrant shortly before the start of the series.
  • The Night Land: In an intentional horrifying example of this trope, numerous of the Night Land's monstrous inhabitants arose through the intermingling of humans with the entities that entered it many millennia in the book's past, as the Sun slowly went out and the Earth began to die. The Giants are the example most focused on in the book, described as a species of hideous, towering, warty humanoids "fathered of bestial humans and mothered of monsters".
  • Oath Of Swords has the half-elf Purple Lords.

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Tieflings, aasimar and genasi are three species of plane-touched humanoids (plane-touched being a general category for mortal creatures with some inherent connection to other planes of existence) descended from the interbreeding of humans and planar beings. While the origins of each race lie with direct cases of humans having children with, respectively, fiends, celestials and various types of elementals, they all became self-sustaining, if somewhat uncommon, races long in the past. In the various settings' modern day, all tieflings are born to tiefling parents, all aasimar to aasimar parents and all genasi to genasi parents.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • Fey'ri, maeluths, tanarukks, wisplings and mur-zhagul are a group of minor races introduced as counterparts of sorts to the tieflings. They differ in their mortal ancestors — sun elves, dwarves, orcs, halflings and trolls instead of humans, respectively — but they are identical in all major respects, being the descants of the children of mortals and various sorts of fiends who became their own self-sustaining species long ago. Fey'ri in particular are highly proud of their bloodlines, and make a point of only ever breeding with other fey'ri.
      • On a similar note, worghests are a species descended from the intermingling of goblins with barghests, Lawful Evil shapeshifting Hellhounds.
    • Eberron: half-elves are considered a distinct race as in most cases their purebred human and elf ancestors were several generations ago. There are even two Dragonmarked Houses composed of half-elves.
  • In Pathfinder half-elves are sometimes Half-Human Hybrid but in some countries with a significant population they may be born of two half-elven parents.
  • In Starfinder orcs were almost entirely confined to Golarion at the time that it disappeared, so most half-orcs now are the result of true-breeding between half-orcs.

Video Games

  • Discussed in the manual for Arcanum. Elves like to believe they were the first race to appear in the world, and most people are uncomfortable with the idea of humans and orcs being related due to Fantastic Racism. However,the author of the chapter on races, John Beddoes, proposes a controversial theory that orcs and elves are both offshoots of humans that have mutated into new races by exposure to magic:
    Beddoes: "The premise most difficult to accept is this: two organisms cannot create offspring together unless they are closely related. Although every naturalist and farmer knows it, we are reluctant to accept the same premise when it is applied to ourselves! It is nearly impossible to make the average elf, orc or human accept the truth: the very fact that half-elves and half-orcs exist at all must mean that the parent species are cousins to one another. Further more, the fact that both half-elves and half-orcs are fertile, viable hybrids, rather than sterile sports, means that the relationship between the parent species is very close indeed!"
  • The Elder Scrolls: Bretons are a distinct race that resulted from ten generations of elves breeding with their human slaves.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds: The longmas of Huoshan are a species of sapient, winged and draconic equines who arose from the interbreeding of (also sapient) horses and dragons. The actual interspecies coupling only appears to have happened once, between the dragon and the stallion known respectively as Honored Mother and Honored Father. All modern-day longmas are the descendants of these two, and all are born from longma parents.

Western Animation

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Dathomirian species is the result of generations of crossbreeding between human women and Zabrak men, eventually resulting in a self-perpetuating hybrid species. They're also a case of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism and Gender Equals Breed, as the Nightsisters look like extremely pale-skinned humans, while the Nightbrothers look like full-blooded Zabraks.

Real Life

  • Eastern coyotes are the result of cross-breeding between coyotes and grey wolves or domestic dogs, making them larger and more pack-oriented than their western kin and allowing them to move into ecological niches opened by the extirpation of wolves in the eastern states.
  • Many species of small wild cats are capable of successfully producing fertile hybrids with one another. This has resulted in the creation of a number of domestic cat breeds created by breeding domestic cats with wild cats of various species and then breeding the hybrids together to obtain varieties of cat with appearances and coat colors housecats don't normally develop. Examples of stably self-perpetuating breeds created in this manner include bengal cats (descend from hybrids of domestic cats and Asian leopard cats), chausies (domestic cat x jungle cat) and savannah cats (domestic cat x serval).
    • Though first generation male savannah cats tend to be sterile, requiring the females to be bred with other domestic cats.
  • The Clymene dolphin, a species of small dolphin native to large tracts of the tropical and temperate Atlantic ocean, has been determined through genetic testing as having originally arisen through the hybridization of the closely related spinner dolphin and striped dolphin.
  • This phenomenon is somewhat more common in birds than in mammals. Both a species of Galapagos finch and one of manakin are known to have arisen in the manner. A more complicated relationship of this sort exists between the pomarine and great skuas: it is known that one originated from the other interbreeding with other skua species, possibly as recently as six or so centuries ago, but exactly which species came first and which arose from self-perpetuating hybrids isn't entirely clear.

Feedback: 27 replies

Apr 3rd 2018 at 11:37:42 PM

Discussed in the manual for Arcanum. Elves like to believe they were the first race to appear in the world, and most people are uncomfortable with the idea of humans and orcs being related due to Fantastic Racism. However,the author of the chapter on races, John Beddoes, proposes a controversial theory that orcs and elves are both offshoots of humans that have mutated into new races by exposure to magic:

Beddoes: "The premise most difficult to accept is this: two organisms cannot create offspring together unless they are closely related. Although every naturalist and farmer knows it, we are reluctant to accept the same premise when it is applied to ourselves! It is nearly impossible to make the average elf, orc or human accept the truth: the very fact that half-elves and half-orcs exist at all must mean that the parent species are cousins to one another. Further more, the fact that both half-elves and half-orcs are fertile, viable hybrids, rather than sterile sports, means that the relationship between the parent species is very close indeed!"

Apr 4th 2018 at 10:54:23 AM

Apr 4th 2018 at 4:48:00 PM

Fertile Hybrid sounds like a better title, imo.

Apr 4th 2018 at 4:58:28 PM

^ - That takes away the idea of them breeding true, though, that'd just be any hybrid that's not sterile. They could possible just be fertile with one or both of their parent races.

Apr 4th 2018 at 9:00:06 PM

Western Animation

  • Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Dathomirian species is the result of generations of crossbreeding between human women and Zabrak men, eventually resulting in a self-perpetuating hybrid species. They're also a case of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism and Gender Equals Breed, as the Nightsisters look like extremely pale-skinned humans, while the Nightbrothers look like full-blooded Zabraks.

Real Life

  • Many species of small wild cats are capable of successfully producing fertile hybrids with one another. This has resulted in the creation of a number of domestic cat breeds created by breeding domestic cats with wild cats of various species and then breeding the hybrids together to obtain varieties of cat with appearances and coat colors housecats don't normally develop. Examples of stably self-perpetuating breeds created in this manner include bengal cats (descend from hybrids of domestic cats and Asian leopard cats), chausies (domestic cat x jungle cat) and savannah cats (domestic cat x serval).

Apr 4th 2018 at 9:31:40 PM

  • Franchise.The Elder Scrolls: Bretons are a distinct race that formed from constant intermingling between human slaves and their elven masters over around ten generations.

Apr 4th 2018 at 10:49:18 PM

I mean, the very idea that the hybrid is not sterile sounds like a good trope idea already.

BTW, does it matter the hybrids of which are involved? Like, does this trope count AB x AB, AB x BC, AB x CD or all of them?

Apr 5th 2018 at 10:34:22 AM

^ Yeah, but that's a supertrope to this one.

Apr 5th 2018 at 1:15:03 PM

Video Games

  • Thems Fightin Herds: The longmas of Huoshan are a species of sapient, winged and draconic equines who arose from the interbreeding of (also sapient) horses and dragons. The actual interspecies coupling only appears to have happened once, between the dragon and the stallion known respectively as Honored Mother and Honored Father. All modern-day longmas are the descendants of these two, and all are born from longma parents.

Apr 5th 2018 at 5:31:45 PM

@ 4tell0life4: A cross between different types of hybrid would be covered by Heinz Hybrid.

Apr 5th 2018 at 10:58:48 PM

^ but isn't this trope also about a hybrid between hybrids? or is it just about hybrids breeding?

Apr 6th 2018 at 7:06:35 AM

^ No, this is about two hybrids of the same type, breeding, and their kid is also a hybrid of that same type.

Or not... 'Cause the former's what true-breeding means, no?

Nope: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True-breeding_organism

This is "Hybrid breeds with something else, and their child is the same hybrid as that parent."

Apr 6th 2018 at 10:18:18 AM

^ Going by the description in the draft itself, it seems to be about hybrids of a specific type being a) capable of breeding, and b) present in enough numbers to sustain their population through breeding with each other so as to result in a new, self-sustaining species or population.

"In real life, hybrids between different species are often sterile, which precludes the possibility of their further hybridizing. But there are some exceptions and if there are enough hybrids of the same two species they might be able to produce a new species combining the two."

For instance, half-orcs and half-elves are portrayed in most fantasy settings as the children of human-orc and human-elf pairings, and some settings have hippogriffs be what you get when you breed a griffin with a horse. If a setting has these strains originate through hybridizations but subsequent half-orcs being born to pairings of other half-orcs, half-elves to pairings of other half-elves, and hippogriffs being obtained by breeding other hippogriffs, then this seems to be what this proposed trope is getting at.

^^ A hybrid between two different hybrids in the sense of the AB x BC and AB x CD examples you brought up (like a half-orc and a half-elf having a half-human, quarter-orc and quarter-elf kid) is covered by Heinz Hybird. This seems to be intended to cover AB x AB where it is as or more notable/prevalent/plot-important/I'm-not-entirely-sure a source of AB hybrids as a direct A x B pairing.

Apr 6th 2018 at 11:25:58 AM

^ in short, this is when AB x AB becomes widespread enough to form their own community/population?

Apr 6th 2018 at 11:35:28 AM

The War Gods: Half-elves aren't quite a stable sixth race, but they come close. If two half-elves have children, those kids will be half-elven even if the elven ancestors are several generations back. (A half-elf - elf pairing also produces half-elven children, but half-elf - human means the children are humans.)

Apr 6th 2018 at 5:13:22 PM

One surefire way of seeing this trope in the works is the existence of a whole race/clan of "half X".

Apr 6th 2018 at 5:24:37 PM

@4tell0life4: What is so hard to understand about "if there are enough hybrids of the same two species they might be able to produce a new species combining the two."

Apr 6th 2018 at 5:35:16 PM

^ Maybe because where species starts and unique individual ends, is sorta vague?

It could be said that the hybrids are their own species, even without them breeding with each other...

Also, the laconic doesn't specify that the hybrids have to be the same type...

Apr 6th 2018 at 5:39:50 PM

Literature

  • Chronicles Of The Emerged World: When humans first entered the then elven-dominated Great Land many centuries in the series' past, the intermingling of the two races led to the creation of the race of the half-elves. While the elves eventually left the Great Land, the half-elves had by then become numerous enough to form their own nation in the Land of the Days and become the Great Land's dominant race... at least until their near-total genocide by Aster the Tyrant shortly before the start of the series.

^, ^^ Yeah, the laconic could be a bit more direct.

Apr 6th 2018 at 7:12:20 PM

Literature

  • The Night Land: In an intentional horrifying example of this trope, numerous of the Night Land's monstrous inhabitants arose through the intermingling of humans with the entities that entered it many millennia in the book's past, as the Sun slowly went out and the Earth began to die. The Giants are the example most focused on in the book, described as a species of hideous, towering, warty humanoids "fathered of bestial humans and mothered of monsters".

Also, something I felt you might want to note in the description — this turns out to be a recognized phenomenon in real-life biology, where it's referred to as hybrid speciation. There turn out to be quite a few examples of this sort of thing happening, mostly in plants.

On that note, I'm adding a few more examples from there for the Real Life section if you want them.

  • The Clymene dolphin, a species of small dolphin native to large tracts of the tropical and temperate Atlantic ocean, has been determined through genetic testing as having originally arisen through the hybridization of the closely related spinner dolphin and striped dolphin.
  • This phenomenon is somewhat more common in birds than in mammals. Both a species of Galapagos finch and one of manakin are known to have arisen in the manner. A more complicated relationship of this sort exists between the pomarine and great skuas: it is known that one originated from the other interbreeding with other skua species, possibly as recently as six or so centuries ago, but exactly which species came first and which arose from self-perpetuating hybrids isn't entirely clear.

Apr 7th 2018 at 2:29:58 PM

^ - Useful... Maybe also clarify what True Breeding is?

Wikipedia on Purebred: True breeding Wikipedia True-breeding.


This trope is about "The formation of a new species by mating crosses of two existing ones", right? Mating has to occur? And have viable children?

Do they have to be half-half? Or could the factions vary?


Also, describe how Heinz Hybrid is different from this trope.

Apr 7th 2018 at 1:25:48 PM

Apr 18th 2018 at 5:59:10 PM

  • Ben 10 goes into this a fair it, with humans and multiple alien species being compatible. This results in human-alien hybrids, sometimes where the children have human appearance but possessing the powers of their alien heritage, other times where the children resemble their alien parent.
    • In fact Azmuth implies that breeding between species is beneficial as a whole from an evolutionary perspective, as shown by the Highbreed who had ridiculous beliefs of purity and inbreeding which eventually lead them to become sterile.

Jun 6th 2018 at 2:52:52 PM

Is this still being updated?

Assuming that it is:

  • Dungeons And Dragons:
    • Tieflings, aasimar and genasi are three species of plane-touched humanoids (plane-touched being a general category for mortal creatures with some inherent connection to other planes of existence) descended from the interbreeding of humans and planar beings. While the origins of each race lie with direct cases of humans having children with, respectively, fiends, celestials and various types of elementals, they all became self-sustaining, if somewhat uncommon, races long in the past. In the various settings' modern day, all tieflings are born to tiefling parents, all aasimar to aasimar parents and all genasi to genasi parents.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • Fey'ri, maeluths, tanarukks, wisplings and mur-zhagul are a group of minor races introduced as counterparts of sorts to the tieflings. They differ in their mortal ancestors — sun elves, dwarves, orcs, halflings and trolls instead of humans, respectively — but they are identical in all major respects, being the descants of the children of mortals and various sorts of fiends who became their own self-sustaining species long ago. Fey'ri in particular are highly proud of their bloodlines, and make a point of only ever breeding with other fey'ri.
      • On a similar note, worghests are a species descended from the intermingling of goblins with barghests, Lawful Evil shapeshifting Hellhounds.
    • (The Eberron example would go on a bullet point under D&D in general.)

Jun 7th 2018 at 6:22:15 PM

Still running, but it's got enough hats to launch.

Jun 7th 2018 at 8:55:18 PM

Do enough people know what true-breeding is, for this to be a clear name?

Laconic still isn't saying that the breeding pair has to be the same type of hybrid, instead of just of the same species?

"Two hybrids of the same species mixture, breed and produce a child"?

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