Rare two-headed deer found in forest

Grant Boone
May 16, 2018

In Minnesota, a local has found a two-headed deer that astonished the local science community. The twins were conjoined from the neck down and were stillborn.

While other examples of conjoined fawn twins have been seen in the womb this is believed to have been the first set brought to full term.

The two-headed fawn was found by a mushroom hunter in Minnesota in May 2016. "It is unbelievable and incredibly rare".

Seeing such a weird appearance, the man thought there might be something interesting behind this discovery and delivered the two-headed deer fawn to the Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources. The famous taxidermy company, the Wild Images in Motion got the pelt to make into the taxidermy mount that will be showcased on the display at the headquarters of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The deceased, two-headed fawn is being called "amazing and extremely rare" by deer ecologist Gino D'Angelo of the University of Georgia, who studied the animal. We can not even gauge the rarity of the.

A CT scan and MRI were conducted and revealed the fawns had two separate head-neck regions, which rejoined along the spine. The fawns had normal fur, heads and legs, but internally had a shared liver, extra spleens and gastrointestinal tracts.

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"Their anatomy indicates the fawns would never have been viable", D'Angelo said in the University of Georgia press report.

They had two hearts, which shared a pericardial sac - the outer layer of a heart. He adds that the hunter found the remains of the fawns cleaned and in a natural position means that the doe that delivered the fawns tried to care for the fawns before realizing they were stillborn. "The maternal instinct is very strong".

Researchers were only able to find 19 confirmed instances of conjoined twins in wildlife between 1671 and 2006, five of them were within the deer family.

For their new study, D'Angelo and his colleagues conducted computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on the conjoined twins, then conducted a full necropsy.

"Animals that are stillborn, they don't last long on the landscape because of scavengers", Mr Cornicelli said.

After the study wrapped up, the twins were preserved by Robert Utne and taxidermist Jessica Brooks to create a realistic display.

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