Why This 2-Faced Calf Has the Perfect Name

Lucky walks in circles a lot, but she's the first two-headed calf to live past 40 days
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2016 6:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – For 40 days and nights, Noah's ark was said to have housed all variety of creatures—but probably not one like this, who just became the first of its kind to live past a similar 40-day mark, per National Geographic. Lucky the two-faced calf, who lives on a Campbellsville, Ky., farm, is the result of a rare genetic mutation that at first had owners Brandy and Stan McCubbin doing a double-take when she was born in mid-September. "From a distance, I thought I had twins lying together," Stan told WDRB at the time. "Then when I saw her, I was just completely blown away." The McCubbins' 5-year-old daughter named the calf after she heard her mom say the baby was lucky to alive.

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The BBC explains that two-headed animals like Lucky—a condition called craniofacial duplication, or diprosopus— can be produced in a variety of ways: They can come from a single fertilized egg that never fully separates, be the result of a developmental anomaly in which the head keeps growing until it breaks into two new ones, or emerge when cells that set off head development somehow get moved to the wrong part of an animal's body. Lucky's two middle eyes don't work, she can only walk in circles, and she tends to fall down a lot. She also needs assistance when chowing down—and both her mouths move when she's chewing—but she seems healthy otherwise. "It's something I've never seen before, and I think it's amazing," Stan tells WDRB. Check out a video of Lucky on the move via Caters News. (What appeared to be a two-headed dolphin washed up on Turkey's shores.)

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