Flying Wolf-Squirrels and other terrifying, badass animal hybrids

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2006 photo provided by Yellowstone National Park, a gray wolf is seen on the run near Blacktail Pond in Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Wyo. The Obama administration on Friday June 7, 2013, will propose lifting federal protections for gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but has been criticized by some scientists as premature. (AP Photo/Yellowstone National Park, File)

Flying squirrels are pretty cool. Wolves are pretty cool. Put them together and you get animals that hunt with coordinated air assaults. Really cool.

Wired recently asked a bunch of people to come up with ideas for animal hybrids that they wanted to see and the resulting list includes "a horde of monstrosities ranging from strangely adorable to intensely scary."

But why sit around and argue about whether the spider shark would have eight fins or eight additional leggy appendages or eight eyes or all of the above? We needed artists to bring these hybrids to life, and we knew just where to find them.

The Science Illustration Program at CSU Monterey Bay is a training ground for artists who love science and nature. We enticed 11 alums and current students to take on our fictional creatures and make them look real. Their awesome talent and creativity resulted in the beautiful, awe-inspiring, and sometimes terrifying visual creations in this collection.

Check out the gallery at Wired Science.