Study reveals two-headed deer was a set of conjoined twins

Conjoined Fawn 2

The fawns had normal fur heads and legs according to researchers

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 twins were discovered by a mushroom hunter in the woods of Minnesota, US in 2016.

"The bodies of the fawns were joined ventrally and laterally with two separate necks and heads", wrote Lou Cornicelli in an abstract in the American Midland Naturalist, a journal of zoology.

The hunter immediately alerted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the fawns were consequently frozen until a necropsy could be conducted.

The baby deer was actually a pair of conjoined female twins with a body about 23 inches (60 centimeters) long from tail to heads.

The find is extremely rare, but scientists can't calculate the exact frequency at which this happens.

Conjoined twin fawns have found before still in utero and were are also stillborn.

According to the researchers, what makes this specimen unique is that it is the first case when a two-headed fawn has been carried to the term and delivered.

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. "Of the tens of millions of fawns born annually in the USA, there are probably abnormalities happening in the wild we don't even know about", D'Angelo said in a press statement.

They had two hearts, which shared a pericardial sac - the outer layer of a heart.

He added the fawns were "found groomed" suggesting "the doe tried to care for them after delivery".

The Minnesota DNR will have the conjoined fawns on display at its headquarters while the University of Minnesota Veterinary Anatomy Museum hosts a skeletal display.

Besides, the fawn's lungs were clean as if the creature would've never breathed air, this being the fact which let researchers conclude the creature has been stillborn. After examining the corpse of an animal, the researchers found that it was a DOE white-tailed deer. "The maternal instinct is quite powerful", D'Angelo explained.

Conjoined twins are commonly found in domestic animals, especially cattle and sheep, but are rare in other wildlife, according to D'Angelo. "The taxidermists, Robert Utne and Jessica Brooks, did a great job with the mount and treated it very respectfully".

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