The Oddities in the News Page
This Month's Oddity in the News:
Two-faced cat creates a world record
Craniofacial Duplication (Diprosopus)
IN THE ARCHIVES:
MEET FRANK AND LOUIE
(Reuters, September 28, 2011) - Frank and Louie, a gray feline with two mouths, two noses and three eyes, just turned 12 years old and is the world's oldest, living two-faced cat.
Sara Wilcox, a Guinness World Records spokeswoman said he is the "longest surviving Janus cat," referring to the name coined by British zoologist Dr. Karl Shuker, based on the two-faced Roman god of transitions, gates and doorways.
Frank and Louie has craniofacial duplication, an extremely rare congenital condition. The disorder, also known as diprosopia, can cause part or all of an individual's face to be duplicated on its head.
It has been recorded multiple times in the domestic cat, but few two-faced kittens survive into adulthood, Wilcox said.
Frank and Louie was born on September 8, 1999. His remarkable life will be commemorated in Guinness World Records' new 2012 edition, Wilcox said.
The cat's owner, a woman only identified as Marty, lives near Worcester, Massachusetts. She was a veterinary technician in 1999 when a day-old, two-faced kitten about the size of her thumb was brought into her clinic to be euthanized.
The life expectancy for a two-faced cat is about four days because they usually suffer from other disorders.
"When he was first born, every day was a blessing," Marty told a local radio station on Tuesday.
She immediately adopted Frank and Louie. The cat has one brain so both faces act in unison. Two of his eyes -- the outermost ones -- are normal, while the middle eye is larger but doesn't function.
The cat eats on the right side, using Frank's face, which is connected to his esophagus, while Louie's nose twitches at the same time, his owner said.
Marty told the local radio station that "the cat is more like a dog because it walks on a leash and loves car rides."
See the news article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/28/us-cat-twofaced-idUSTRE78Q6FV20110928
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What is craniofacial duplication?
Also known as Diprosopus, craniofacial duplication is the medical term used to describe a malformation of the human face, though, in some even rarer cases, there is duplication of the cerebral frontal lobes.
Someone suffering from craniofacial duplication isn’t actually a “conjoined twin” because, in most cases, the abnormality is not the result of the fusion of two embryos. In most cases (but not all), it’s merely a widening of facial features and the wider the features, the more the faces are duplicated.
The rare times this happens, the babies are usually stillborn, and, for one reason or another, occur mainly in India. The most famous of these was Lali Singh who was born in India on March 11, 2008, but died two months later.
Diprosopus often occurs in combination with other congenital disorders, particularly anencephaly, neural tube defect and cardiac malformations. When present, the brain may show abnormalities ranging from partial to complete duplication of brain structures, and/or underdevelopment of brain tissues. Doctors say there’s a 1 in 2.5 million chance of a child being born with Diprosopus.
Few two-faced animals have survived due to associated internal organ abnormalities and brain abnormalities. One of the most famous was Ditto the pig. Ditto was raised to adulthood, but died of pneumonia caused by food inhalation when breathing through one muzzle while eating with the other.
Cats with the condition are known as 'Janus cats', after the Roman god. In July 2006, a 6-year-old male Janus cat called "Frank and Louie" from Millbury, Massachusetts USA received publicity. In his case, only one esophagus (and possibly only one trachea) was functional and this aided survival. In September 2011, when Frank and Louie was 12 years old, it was announced that he will appear in the as the longest-surviving Janus cat on record.
Read more HERE