A two-headed lamb was born near Africa reported the Huffington Post on March 12. Pictures surfaced of the little black and white lamb this week on the Internet. Not much is known about the lamb with two fully developed heads, including if the animal is even still living.
The two-headed lamb was born Monday afternoon in Tarkwa, a town in the southwest of Ghana. Other than having two heads, the little lamb appears normal, showing no other physical abnormalities. Ironically, the two-headed animal was born near a spare parts and general store.
The newborn lamb suffers from a condition of having more than one head known as polycephaly. Polycephaly is a rare disorder, and polycephalic animals usually make local news headlines. One well-known human case of polycephaly is conjoined twins Abigail and Brittany Hensel.
Polycephalic humans are considered dicephalic conjoined twins or two separate individuals. Animals born with two heads are usually described as just one animal with two heads. One head may be smaller, poorly developed and have little to no function.
In the case of the two-headed lamb, the heads will need to be closely watched to determine if one is more dominant. One head may have an obstruction in the throat, not allowing the lamb to swallow properly. The other head may be more developed and able to better participate in feeding.
According to Todd Ray, AMC's "Freakshow" star and two-headed animal collector, he hopes the owners will feed the head that seems more capable because there's only one stomach. "People often try to feed both mouths, but one may not have a functioning throat," said Ray.
Ray also told the Huffington Post that the weight of two heads may make it difficult for the lamb to stand. He said the baby animal will eventually develop enough strength to be able to stand up. Until then, he cautioned that it's crucial for the lamb to not lie down after feeding to prevent air blockage and suffocation.
Polycephalic animals generally don't survive well in the wild and may live longer in captivity. Two-headed living farm animals, like this little two-headed lamb, sometimes travel to county fairs as animal side shows. Preserved two-headed animals can also be viewed at many museums of natural history worldwide. Llanidloes, a museum in Wales, displays another very well-preserved two-headed lamb.