Each fully formed head had a pair of eyes, ears, nostrils and a muzzle, and each sat on separate necks attached to a single body with four legs and a shared tail
remains of the malformed two-headed calf have stunned slaughterhouse staff in Brazil.
According to Mirror Online, the freak creature was discovered in the womb of a slaughtered cow thought to have been too old to produce anymore offspring.
Each fully formed head had a pair of eyes, ears, nostrils and a muzzle, and each sat on separate necks attached to a single body with four legs and a shared tail.
The still born calf, weighing around 5kg and aged around seven months old, was also completely hairless .
Workers in the town Obidos, in west Brazil, said they were shocked by the sight of the calf despite being used to butchering animals.
One worker said: “We have never seen anything like it in our lives. Word about the animal spread rapidly around the town and loads of people came to have a look. It shocked us all at how weird and alien it looked.”
Aluísio Cancio, the owner of the mother
said he had chosen to kill the animal because she had become too old to keep and he never imagined she was pregnant.
He said: “At this time of year I normally move my cattle to a drier part of the land as the area they graze on gets flooded naturally by the river. To pay for the transportation costs, I decided to sell 20 cows for slaughter. I chose this cow because she was very old.”
He added his brother had taken the animals to the slaughterhouse and was the first
person to break the news when he returned from the delivery.
“I’ve been working in this business for over 40 years and I have never seen anything happen like this in the town. I was surprised and I admit it scared me as well, but I understand that even though it is weird it is a work of nature.”
Brazilian vet, Simone Vieira Castro, explained to local television it was unusual for a cow to have a twin pregnancy.
He said: “In this case, I believe because the animal was old, the embryos failed to divide properly. Instead of the two foetuses developing separately they formed as one body with some separate extremities.”
Another possible reason for the abnormality or being born with more than one head – known as polycephaly – is the repeated use of the same mating bull, limiting the genetic variability in the flock.
Castro added: “Because of the degree of mutation this animal would never have survived, even if it had been born alive.”
The remains have been frozen and are expected to be donated to a nearby university for veterinary students to study.