Two-Headed Pig Born In China; Will It Survive?

By iScienceTimes Staff on April 12, 2013 10:09 PM EDT

A two-headed pig was born Wednesday in the Jianxi province of China, according to NBC News.

What's particularly interesting about this two-headed pig is that it has two ears and two snouts, but three eyes (one shared in the middle). Unfortunately, a local veterinarian said that the animal is deformed and is unlikely to survive.

As Yahoo notes, this is not the first two-headed pig born in China. In 2001, Reuters reported that a Chinese farmer showed off a piglet born with two heads and three eyes in Zhaodun village in the province of Jiangsu.

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How was the two-headed pig born?

The deformity of the two-headed pig 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.

Axial bifurcation results when an embryo fails to split into two separate organisms, or twins, completely. It's a very rare mutation that occurs in a number of animals, including humans.

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

What other animals have been born with two heads?

In addition to the two-headed pig and two-headed bull shark, there have been reports of two-headed turtles, snakes, kittens, and calves.

ALSO READ: 2-Headed Shark Fetus Caught Off Florida Keys: See Photos Of First Two-Headed Bull Shark Ever Recorded

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