Polycephaly is a condition of having more than one head. The term is derived from the stemspoly- meaning 'many' and kephal- meaning "head", and encompasses bicephaly and dicephaly (both referring to two-headedness). A variation is an animal born with two faces on a single head, a condition known as diprosopus. In medical terms these are all congenitalcephalic disorders.
There are many occurrences of multi-headed animals, in real life as well as in mythology. In heraldry and vexillology, the double-headed eagle is a common symbol, though no such animal is known to have ever existed. Novelty and study
Polycephalic animals often make local news headlines when found. The most commonly observed two-headed animals are turtles and snakes.<sup id="cite_ref-pravda_0-0" class="reference"></sup> Other species with known two-headed occurrences include cattle, sheep, pigs, cats, dogs, and fish. In 1894, a two-headed partridge was reported in Boston, Massachusetts.<sup id="cite_ref-1" class="reference"></sup> It was notable as a dicephalic animal for surviving into adulthood with two perfect heads. Scientists have published in modern journals about dissecting such animals since at least the 1930s.<sup id="cite_ref-pravda_0-1" class="reference"></sup> A 1929 paper studied the anatomy of a two-headed kitten.<sup id="cite_ref-pravda_0-2" class="reference"></sup>
Polycephalic animals, due to their rarity, are a subject of novelty. "We", a two-headed albino rat snake born in captivity in 2000 with both female and male genitalia, was scheduled to be auctioned on eBay with an expected price tag of $150,000 (£87,000), though their policy of not trading in live animals prevented the sale.<sup id="cite_ref-bbcsnake1_2-0" class="reference"></sup><sup id="cite_ref-wemsnbc_3-0" class="reference"></sup> On 31 October 2006, the World Aquarium<sup id="cite_ref-4" class="reference"></sup> announced that "We" was adopted by Nutra Pharma Corporation, a biotechnology company developing treatments using modified cobra venom and cobratoxin.<sup id="cite_ref-nutrapharma-we1_5-0" class="reference"></sup> "We" died of natural causes at age eight in June 2007, not long after being acquired by Nutra Pharma.<sup id="cite_ref-wemsnbc_3-1" class="reference"></sup>
Two-headed farm animals sometimes travel with animal side shows to county fairs. Most notably, The Venice Beach Freakshow supposedly houses the world's largest collection of two-headed specimens in the world, including over 20 two-headed animals that are alive. Many museums of natural history contain preserved two-headed animals. The Museum of Lausanne<sup id="cite_ref-lausanne_6-0" class="reference"></sup> in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, have collections of preserved two-headed animals. A very well preserved 2-headed lamb is on display in Llanidloes museum in Wales. A live two-headed turtle named Janus can be seen at the Natural History Museum in Geneva,<sup id="cite_ref-janus_7-0" class="reference"></sup> Switzerland.
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