It’s time for a new edition of Weird Animal Friday. Today we’ve got some barnyard and backyard creatures that have a lot of heads scratching as they ponder a two-headed pig, a fawn with a white head and a cow who was a head taller than the average cow and cow farmer.
Up first is a two-headed pig found this week in a litter of eleven born to a sow in Beiyan Village in China’s Chongqing municipality. Like many who have discovered such animal anomalies, pig farmer Jing Guanglan is hoping to charge admission to see it and possibly sell it to the highest bidder. This rare (although getting more common – there were two two-headed piglets born in China in 2013) condition known as polycephalys or axial bifurcation may have been caused by the unusual breeding practice of using the semen from multiple fathers – in this case, a white tri-lineage crossbreed pig and one with wild boar genes.
A white-faced fawn with a pink nose and white-and-brown coat was born recently at the Deer Tracks Junction educational facility in Cedar Springs, Michigan. This is an extremely rare piebald deer with some albino characteristics (pink nose) but will not grow up to be the mythical white stag which the Celts believed to be a messenger from the otherworld, early Christians believed to be responsible for the conversion of St. Eustace and Hungarians believe led the brothers Hunor and Magor the eventual formation of the Hun and Magyar people. The white-faced fawn was abandoned by its mother and is being raised by caretakers at the facility.
Everyone has a big beef about something, but none are (or sadly, were) as big and beefy as Blosom, the world’s tallest cow, which died on May 26 in Orangeville, Illinois. How tall, you ask? Blosom was a 13-year-old, 2,000-pound, 6-foot-4-inch Holstein that had held the Guinness record for World’s Tallest Cow since last August. Blosom was eight inches taller than the average Holstein and her owner says she’ll be buried in her favorite pasture facing the farm.
As usual, whether real or mythological, animal anomalies are rare and rarely a good sign.