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I was just reading Brandon's AMA over at r/books from 2 months ago. It was pretty far down so I don't know if others saw... But both Herdazians and Horneaters are the result of human-listener interbreeding. :/ So, apparently they had been 'discovered' long ago, not to mention that relations were probably quite quite good. So Rock+Rlain=fam forever.

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I don't think that is necessarily an indication of good relations. There are several other viewpoints that could be held. 

 

One is that it was more of a rogue Listener who ended up sleeping with human or vise versa, like a Romio and Juliet sort of thing - not very likely, but still, some chance there.

 

Another would be that some humans ended up bedding their parshmen slaves. This hardly seems to far fetched, especially earlier on in the time when parshmen were being used as slaves when there were still bad feelings towards the Listeners as the Voidbringers and it was a sort of act of retribution.

 

Of course, there is also the idea that you presented, which certainly has merit.

 

Personally, I find it entirely possible that it be more than one of these possibilities, not to mention (potentially) plenty of others. 

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I looked and couldn't find the reference. Does it specifically say interbreeding? I understood that they were genetic combinations of humans and listeners, but I thought the combination could have come through magic rather than interbreeding. I have trouble imagining genetics that would allow interbreeding, much less fertile interbreeding.

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I looked and couldn't find the reference. Does it specifically say interbreeding? I understood that they were genetic combinations of humans and listeners, but I thought the combination could have come through magic rather than interbreeding. I have trouble imagining genetics that would allow interbreeding, much less fertile interbreeding.

 

The original quote did not specify but this more recent one does:

 

 

The Horneaters and the Herdazians are both descendants of Parshendi/human interbreeding.

 

(source)

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Well, some different species can interbreed, and yes, I think that the Listeners and humans are different species.  For example, lions and tigers can interbreed, even though they are not in the same species.  They are in the same genus group (I think?) so maybe it has something to do with that?

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Well, some different species can interbreed, and yes, I think that the Listeners and humans are different species. For example, lions and tigers can interbreed, even though they are not in the same species. They are in the same genus group (I think?) so maybe it has something to do with that?

I don't think ligers are fertile? Many drastically different species that can miraculously still interbreed have that problem. Sometimes species separated by differing mating seasons are otherwise perfectly compatible since it's basically still the same animal, but with Listeners likely predating Rosharan humanity that is definitely not the case here. The humans might not even have originated from this planet specifically. The anatomical differences are also huge.

It's weird.

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Roshar was touched by Adonalsium, just like Yolen. Maybe He just based humans and Listeners on the same base template and decided it would be nice if they could reproduce.

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I wonder if Human/Listener interbreeding would be similar to what is needed for Returned to have children.

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Lopen just got a lot more cousins.

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I don't think ligers are fertile? Many drastically different species that can miraculously still interbreed have that problem. Sometimes species separated by differing mating seasons are otherwise perfectly compatible since it's basically still the same animal, but with Listeners likely predating Rosharan humanity that is definitely not the case here. The humans might not even have originated from this planet specifically. The anatomical differences are also huge.

It's weird.

 

Not sure if Ligers are fertile, but I'm pretty sure that they usually have a number of health issues which prevent even a fertile Liger from successfully breeding.

 

Mules are a more common example.

Horses and Donkey's don't have the same number of Chromosomes (22 & 24), so you get a 23-chromosome sterile Mule. However, something like 1/200 (maybe 1/2,000?) Mules are fertile, so if you either had a lot-LOT of horse-donkey breeding happening, or paired every Mule with a fertile horse or donkey, there's no reason you couldn't get a breeding population of "sterile" Mules going.

 

Similarily, there's no reason that a large group of "sterile" Listener-Human hybrids couldn't produce a breeding population, especially if they paired off with fertile humans/listeners. Most of the 1st generation would have 0 children, but after that the chance of sterility would drop FAST.

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Took the words right out of my mouth, LabRat.  :)

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It's weird.

 

I still hold out hope that maybe Cultivation intervened to make this possible.  It certainly falls into an area that would involve her intent.  Mr. Sanderson has gone to some effort to maintain real world laws of nature where he could so I cringe at the idea that species with such different biochemistry could successfully produce offspring without supernatural intervention.

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They did recently produce a Liger that was not sterile so not impossible just really really hard.

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A species, defined Scientifically <pushes glasses back up the bridge of nose> is a group of living organisms that can interbreed to produce fertile young (this means the vast majority of the time). 

 

That being said, perhaps humans and Listeners are the same 'species' (scientifically), just vastly different races. which, ironically, produces more healthy offspring. Bigger gene pool, all that jazz. 

 

On the other hand, this is all physically. Our science doesn't extend to realmatics. <lightbulb apears above head> Therefor, I am proposing this: Listeners and humans are the same 'species,' though very different races, as far as the physical realm is concerned. However, on the spiritual realm and/or cognitive realm levels, they are different species! (Personally, I would say both spiritual and cognitive realms are different)

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A species, defined Scientifically <pushes glasses back up the bridge of nose> is a group of living organisms that can interbreed to produce fertile young (this means the vast majority of the time).

That being said, perhaps humans and Listeners are the same 'species' (scientifically), just vastly different races. which, ironically, produces more healthy offspring. Bigger gene pool, all that jazz.

On the other hand, this is all physically. Our science doesn't extend to realmatics. <lightbulb apears above head> Therefor, I am proposing this: Listeners and humans are the same 'species,' though very different races, as far as the physical realm is concerned. However, on the spiritual realm and/or cognitive realm levels, they are different species! (Personally, I would say both spiritual and cognitive realms are different)

WoB, Listeners are "non-human".

That said, maybe they share the same sDNA Investiture which overcomes the DNA incompatibility. (Maybe the sDNA would direct the DNA to combine in non-standard ways to create a viable product?)

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I propose listeners and humans were interbred using Dawnshard.. they bind anything right?

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That could be a possibility.  They seem to bond with just about any spren they can find, as far as I can tell.

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It seems to me the main differences between Parshendi and humans are more supernatural than biological.

Also, this thread has many examples of fertile interspecies hybrids.

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Why is there two different types of off shoots of the same interbreeding Herdazian and horneater?

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Why is there two different types of off shoots of the same interbreeding Herdazian and horneater?

2 isolated populations could have been the same once, but different selection pressures led to the differences between them.

Alternatively, it could be a difference of Paternal vs Maternal DNA, like Tigons and Ligers, or even something completely outside "normal" hybridization if sDNA was involved

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I never saw this thread before, but there are other hybridized animal species that are fertile. Many animal species today are most due to hybridization, but there is one hybrid creature right now that is thriving and breeding on its own that is overtaking the US:  the coywolf, wolf/coyote/dog hybrids.

 

Wolves in North America were hunted to near extinction within the US and primarily live in forested areas across the US. Coyotes thrive in scrub-land and prairies out west. Dogs, of course live everywhere. With a minimal number of suitable partners due to a number of things (including deforestation and hunting), wolves started breeding with both coyotes and dogs. These hybrids are now so prosperous, that they have expanded from each of these individual species' preferred habitats into new territories...including cities. There are an estimated 20 of them living in NYC and several have been seen living in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. According to one researcher, there are now millions of them living on the east coast where until recently there weren't any coyotes or wolves. 

 

So...hybridization can and does create viable offspring in some cases. So, of course Listeners and humans can breed and probably do create viable offspring. Even now, I'd assume, since we have the Horneaters and Herdazians.

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