Calf with two heads of unknown provenance. Animals with multiple heads (polycephalous) have the same origin of Siamese twins, their malformation derives in fact from an incomplete separation of monozygotic twins. These individuals are generally destined to a short lifespan due to dramatic problems in eating, breathing and moving. Polycephaly, rare in nature, is though widely documented especially in reptiles and amphibians, but also in mammals such as humans. To polycephalous creatures are traditionally attributed powers of omniclairvoyance; in fact, some deities belonging to polytheistic religions, as well as some terrible monsters, are depicted as multi-faced images.


  • Title: Two-headed calf
  • Rights: Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia Photo by Barbara Favaretto - MSNVE
  • Scientific name: Bos taurus
  • Date: first half of the XX° century
  • Catalogue number: MSNVE-19944

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