A piglet born in Brazil with two bodies and one head could have been that way as a result of inbreeding, scientists believe, although investigations are continuing
A deformed piglet born with one head and two bodies has left scientists flummoxed.
The odd creature was dead when it was born at Sao Miguel do Oeste, Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil last week.
Footage of the corpse shows the creature has just one head but two distinct bodies from the chest down.
The piglet was born with four arms – two at the front and two on its back – and what looks like an undeveloped second head emerging from its back.
Now scientists from the Centre for Wildlife Studies at the University of West Santa Catarina are trying to uncover its secrets.
The experts now know that the beast is actually two sows united by the skull and chest and sharing a single heart.
Ultrasound and X-ray scans have revealed that only from the abdomen down do they each have separate organs, like kidneys and bladders.
Biologist and professor Jackson Preuss said: “We can say they are Siamese twins joined at the head and thorax, sharing a single heart and, from the abdomen, a separation takes place.”
Preuss explained such cases are rare and such animals rarely survive.
The conjoined twins have yet to undergo a necropsy to find out more about them.
Preuss believes the pigs’ genetic malformations may be environmental in origin and may have even been caused by microorganisms.
However, he says it could also have been caused by inbreeding.
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