Polycephaly is a condition of having more than one head. The term is derived from the Greek stems poly- meaning 'much' and kephali- 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 congenital cephalic 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.
Bicephalic or tricephalic animals are the only type of multi-headed creatures seen in the real world and form by the same process as conjoined twins: they all result from the failed separation of monozygotic twins. –Wikipedia
Abigail Loraine Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel (born 7 March 1990, Minnesota, United States) are dicephalic conjoined twins. Brittany ("Britty") is the left twin, and Abigail ("Abby") is the right twin. They have two spines which join at the pelvis. They have two stomachs, three lungs, and at birth, three arms (the arm between their heads was underdeveloped and useless, and was amputated in infancy).– Wikipedia
Featured on various television programs and media outlets since their first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in April 1996 (at the age of 6), this famous set of conjoined twins were given their very own reality show, Abby & Brittany, which premiered on TLC on August 28, 2012. – "Abby and Brittany Hensel," Hollywood Life, at http://hollywoodlife.com/celeb/abby-brittany-hensel-twins-conjoined-twins-abigail-brittany/ (retrieved: 13 April 2013).
"Abby (Abigail), and Brittany Hensel Conjoined Twins. Two heads, two souls in one body," Se Pt video at YouTube.com, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgTwH6ijp8 (retrieved: 2 April 2013). (
The boy, named Kiron and weighing 12 lbs 1 oz, was born by Cesarean section on [25 August 2008] at a clinic in Keshobpur, 85 miles from the capital, Dhaka.
"Two-headed boy born in Bangladesh," Telegraph.co.uk, 27 August 2008, at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/
[The] two-headed baby has died after his parents took him home because they could not afford medical care, Agence France-Presse reported [28 August 2008].
"Two-Headed Baby Dies, Parents Couldn't Afford Medical Care," FoxNews.com, 28 August 2008, at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,412193,00.html (accessed: 31 August 2008).
Cairo - A 26-year old woman from a village in upper Egypt has given birth to a health baby girl with two heads, the Cairo daily Al-Akhbar reported on Friday. The baby can move both heads, according to the newspaper, which also published a photo of the child.
The baby was delivered by Caesarean section in a hospital in Assiut after an uncomplicated nine-month pregnancy. The baby was then brought to a specialist clinic in Cairo to carry out further tests and to establish how to manage this unusual case. - Sapa-DPA
Egyptian Mommy Gives Birth to Two-Headed Girl, 13 June 2003, at http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/03_Unexplained/030820.2-headed.baby.html.
An Argentine woman has given birth to conjoined twin girls and a boy. The twins were born fused at the head, and shared a heart and other vital organs. The woman also delivered a healthy baby boy.
The birth occurred in the provincial city of San Juan, Doctor Gonzalo Medina told the Todo Noticias cable news channel. He said the girls were born joined from the chest to mid-abdomen and shared other lower parts of the body. He said the twins, born as part of triplets with the boy, are in a stable condition. He said an initial assessment indicated it may not be possible to separate them. But he added that his staff are consulting with surgical teams in other countries. The mother, who was not identified, is in a stable condition, Medina said.
Conjoined twins occur when a single fertilized egg splits to form twins, but the separation is incomplete. They occur about once in every 200,000 live births and are three times more likely to be girls than boys.
The Associated Press, Woman gives birth to conjoined twins girls and a boy, Ananova, 24 June 2003.
The two have separate heads, chests, hearts, stomachs, lungs and spinal cords but their liver, bladder, intestines and genitalia are fused. They also have just two legs between them.
India's abandoned newborn conjoined twins to be adopted by NGO, Yahoo! News, 21 July 2003.
Eighteen surgeons, nurses and doctors will take several rotations to cut off the undeveloped tissue, clip the veins and arteries and close the skull of the seven-week-old baby using a bone graft from another part of her body.
Cure International, a Lemoyne, Pa.,-based charity that gives medical care to disabled children in developing countries, is paying for the surgery and follow-up care.
Dominican baby born with second head scheduled for risky removal surgery, Yahoo! News, 4 Feb 2004.
[The girl] bled to death [7 Feb 2004] after complex surgery to remove her partially formed twin, her parents and doctors said.
Carl and Clarence Aguirre remained under heavy sedation in side-by-side beds but were expected to awaken later in the day — the first time in their short lives that they would see each other apart, their jubilant doctors said.
A baby girl born in Northern India Monday has two faces, it is reported by NBC affiliate KARE11. The residents of the small village where the baby was born have begun gathering to worship the child, seen as an incarnation of God.
The girl was born in Gautam Budh Nagar in the suburbs of Delhi, IBNLive.com. She was born to Vinod Singh and Sushma at Saifai Hospital in Dadr, India.
"Both mother and the child are healthy and doing fine," Dr Aas Mohammad, of Saifai Hospital, told IBNLive.com.
"Baby With Two Faces Born in India," FOX News, 13 March 2008, at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,337492,00.html.
Kathmandu: Hundreds of people thronged the house of Sitaram Chaudhary in Saptari district in eastern Nepal to have a glance at the new born girl child with four eyes, two mouths and two noses.
Shamvawati, 24, wife of Chaudhary gave birth to the girl child yesterday, reported an english daily Kantipur.
As news of the birth of such a child spread, people from far and wide rushed to Chaudharys house to worship her as an incarnation of goddess Bhagawati.
The baby girl is in good health and can see with all her four eyes and sucks milk with both mouths, said her mother.
Rajbiraj: The baby-girl died [the evening of 17 June 2003] of medical complications.
The baby developed some breathing difficulties and died after few hours, said Sitaram Chaudhary, father to the baby girl.
The baby girl was born to Sitaram Chaudhary and Sambhavati Chaudhary of Hardiya VDC-2 in Saptari district.
The 16 July 2004 episode of Ripleys Believe it or Not episode contained a segment about a man with two mouths. Scans showed he had an underdeveloped twin located within his body complete with partial brain. Successful surgery removed the twin from his face.