Are two-faced animals and two-headed creatures anomalies or evolutions? That’s a question to ponder as yet another one – this time, a two-faced cow – surfaced in Australia.
Second face has an eye, one tooth and working nostrils. In great condition
That was the ad posted at a cattle auction held this week in North Queensland, Australia. Gerry Collins, the yard chairman at the Mareeba Saleyards where the two-faced cow was eventually sold for $400, said it was nothing unusual.
Sometimes the genetic engineering doesn’t quite work according to plan.
Sometimes? In December 2103, a two-headed calf was born in the north Moroccan village of Sefrou. Named Sana Saida (‘Happy New Year’ in Arabic), the calf could eat from both mouths and appeared to be twins whose eggs didn’t separate successfully.
Another calf with one brain but two heads that could eat and moo separately was born in Vermont earlier in 2013. In Martvili, a town in the Eurasian country of Georgia, a two-headed calf was born in 2011. This video shows it eating from both sides.
These are just a few two-headed cows that have been publicized. How many more are being born? While calves with two heads usually die shortly after birth, the cow sold in North Queensland is proof that they can survive to adulthood.
Polycephaly, having more than one head, and diprosopus, having two faces, are described in medical journals as being extremely rare disorders. That may be changing as we’re seeing more instances of these conditions in mammals, reptiles and fish. The list increases dramatically when you include creatures born with extra arms and legs.
What’s causing this increase in two-headed cows and other animals? Careless breeding? Nuclear exposure? Genetic experiments gone bad? Climate change? Something else?