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Here's what it could look like as climate change forces species to cross-breed


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, October 7, 2013, 12:27 PM -

With climate change continuing to progress, and polar ice caps becoming thinner, there's a real risk that previously unrelated species will begin to intermingle as they are forced to migrate to unfamiliar environments.

Graphic artist Nickolay Lamm of StorageFront.com teamed up with Business Insider to imagine what it would look like if seven pairs of species were to come together to produce hybrid offspring.

It's not too far fetched. Lamm used information from a study that listed 34 species at risk of hybridization, and worked with Elin Pierce, a writer and editor with a Ph.D in biology, to imagine what such hybrids would look like, based on shared traits.

The strange results are below (with captions written by Lamm).

Beluga and narwhal

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

"The hybrid would most likely have predominantly white skin and may even have a small tusk.

The hybrid shown above has a little bit of narwhal coloring."

Harbor and ringed seal

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

"The hybrid's fur has more spots than the harbor seals, but is darker.

Its body shape is similar to the ringed seal."

Harp and hooded seal pup

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

"The hybrid is mostly white, with some of the hooded seal pup's coloration."

Harbour and Dall's porpoise

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

"The hybrid is darker and its hypothetical size is somewhere in between the harbour and Dall's porpoise."

Polar and grizzly bear

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

"The hybrid has splotches of brown and a more blunt snout.

The ears are also smaller than a brown bear."

Polar and grizzly bear cub

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

Image: Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider

"The hybrid looks like a polar bear cub but with some grizzly colored fur."

Southern flying squirrel and northern flying squirrel

Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider/Bevely Hill

Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider/Bevely Hill

Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider/Bevely Hill

Nickolay Lamm/Business Insider/Bevely Hill

"When they cross-breed, their babies are southern-sized with mottled grey-white belly fur." - Mother Nature Network.

We've featured Lamm's work before, from what major U.S. cities would look like as sea levels rise, to what New York City looks like when viewed with an infrared camera.

Check out more of his work on his website.

Here at The Weather Network, you can check out animal videos in our gallery.

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