Nature can be truly fascinating and bizarre.
Last week a strange animal birth occurred when an 8-legged goat was born on a farm in Kutjevo, northeast Croatia. Zoran Paparic’s goat Sarka gave birth to the kid, which also has both male and female reproductive organs.
Local veterinarians have told Paparic that the reason for the baby goat’s extra legs is an underdeveloped twin sibling.
As his owner, Zoran Paparic, told the Daily Mail: “I counted his legs and I thought I was seeing things. Then I called my neighbour to make sure that I am not crazy.”
Life can’t be easy for an animal born like octogoat because its body is specifically designed to function with four legs and be either male or female. Clearly something went awry while Sarka was pregnant.
However, it turns out that odd animal births are not that uncommon. Here are some other examples:
Photo Credit: Screenshot from USA Today video
Last year, a two-headed turtle hatched at the San Antonio Zoo; officials named her Thelma and Louise, for the female duo in the 1991 Oscar-winning movie of the same name.
Octogoat and this turtle have something in common: twins!
Craig Pelke, curator of reptiles at the zoo, said that the bicephalic (two-headed) turtle was the result of twins that had not separated. “At this time, Thelma and Louise are doing well on exhibit and eating with both heads,” he said after the birth.
The female Texas turtle was born on June 18, 2013, and moved into the zoo’s Friedrich Aquarium. It appeared that the creature was healthy and able to swim and walk.
The San Antonio zoo is familiar with two-headed reptiles: it was home to a double-headed Texas rat snake named Janus from 1978 until the snake’s death in 1995.
Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube
In 2012, a six-legged lamb was born on a farm in the tiny village of Velistsikhe in Georgia. Just like Octogoat, the lamb was a hermaphrodite with both male and female sex organs.
Also just like the eight-legged goat, veterinarians believed that the calf’s mother was probably having twins, but somehow the embryos were combined.
As you can see in the photo above, the piebald lamb has four legs at the front and another two at the back. It appeared to have at least partial control of all of its limbs and to be perfectly healthy aside from its two extra legs.
To my surprise, as I researched this topic, I found genetic mutations in animals to be relatively common.
Such mutations also date back a long way: the first known two-headed animal, an ancient lizard, was born more than 120-million years ago, according to Emirates 24/7.
Photo Credit: OLAYNEWS via YouTube