Thursday, 18 April 2013

Two-headed pig born in China

By John Roach, Contributing Writer, NBC News
On the heels of recent news about a two-headed bull shark, a two-headed pig has been born in a village in east China's Jianxi province, according to the news reports.

The photo shows a pig with two snouts, two ears and what appears to be a shared eye. A local veterinarian told the AFP news agency the animal is suffering a deformity and is unlikely to survive.

The deformity may be the same condition, called "axial bifurcation," that researchers determined was the cause of the two-headed bull shark in a study published this March in Journal of Fish Biology

It results from an embryo splitting into two separate organisms, or twins, but the process is incomplete.

"Halfway through the process of forming twins, the embryo stops dividing," Michael Wagner, a researcher at Michigan State Universitytold LiveScience

The mutation, he added, occurs across animals, including humans.

While rare, in addition to the pig shown here and the shark, two-headed turtlessnakeskittens, and other critters have been reported in recent years.

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