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A Minnesota mushroom hunter on the prowl for some fungi stumbled across an unbelievable find: two deer fawns sharing one body.
The conjoined twin fawns, which were stillborn, are believed to be the first ones found to have reached full term and then be delivered by their mother. The only other examples of conjoined twin fawns have been found still in utero, said Gino D'Angelo, the University of Georgia researcher who studied the deer.
D'Angelo - Rarity - Tens - Millions - Fawns
"It's amazing and extremely rare," D'Angelo said. "We can't even estimate the rarity of this. Of the tens of millions of fawns born annually in the U.S., there are probably abnormalities happening in the wild we don't even know about."
D'Angelo, an assistant professor of deer ecology and management at UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, said a full examination of the conjoined twin fawns was a unique opportunity for researchers to study such a rare wildlife deformity.
Results - Examination - Science - Midland - Naturalist
The results of his examination were recently published in the science journal American Midland Naturalist.
The mushroom hunter found the fawns in May 2016 near Freeburg, Minnesota, on the forest floor about a mile from the Mississippi River. The fawns were clean, dry and appeared to be recently deceased. The hunter called the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, where D'Angelo was working at the time. The fawns were frozen until a necropsy could be performed, so the specimen was kept in excellent condition, D'Angelo said.
Researchers - Necropsy - Tomography—or - CT - Resonance
Researchers not only conducted a full necropsy, but also did a 3-D computed tomography—or CT scan—and a magnetic resonance imaging at the University of Minnesota's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
They found that the fawns—which were does—had two separate necks and heads, but they shared a body. They had normal fur, normal heads...
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