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Biology, Strange

Piglet with monkey’s face / Holoprosencephaly / Homer’s Cyclops,

From past True Strange posts, enjoy this piglet, a curious biological anomaly. I’m surprised anyone today would try to deny a common DNA source of all life on earth. In addition to what we know about genes resulting in physical traits, it is visually obvious that animals fall into genetic groupings. 

Curious locals flocked to the home of owner Feng Changlin after news of the piglet spread in Fengzhang village, Xiping township.

“It’s hideous. No one will be willing to buy it, and it scares the family to even look at it!” Feng told Oriental Today.

He says the piglet looks just like a monkey, with two thin lips, a small nose and two big eyes. Its rear legs are also much longer than its forelegs, causing it to jump instead of walk.

Feng’s wife said the monkey-faced piglet was one of five newborns of a sow which the family had raised for nine years.

“My God, it was so scary. I didn’t known what it was. I was really frightened,” she said.

“But our son likes to play with it, and he stopped us from getting rid of it. He even feeds it milk.”

Neighbours have suggested the couple keep the piglet to see how it looks as it matures. – orange

Okay, wow. That’s some mutation. Human-pig hybrid embryos have been approved in the UK. How about China?

NOTE: China is a leader in pig genetics.

Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Danish Committee of Pig Breeding and Production (DCPBP) jointly announce the public release of pig genomic sequences. The released sequence data include 3.84 million pieces of the genomes of five different domestic pig breeds from Europe and China. The data are generated from the first large scale pig genome sequencing effort, the Sino-Danish Pig Genome Project, started in 2001 on the basis of a long standing collaboration of scientists and research institutions from China and Denmark. – continues on science daily

Thanks to SilviusMD for pointing out that this is the result of a neurological-facial malformation called Holoprosencephaly. “The cause is thought to be a genetic alteration, in this case probably due to environmental exposure to certain chemicals.”

With some trepeidation, I did a google image search for “Holoprosencephaly” and found some Cyclops looking individuals. One startling photo showed baby with its two eyes in a central eye socket … and no nose. So, it’s not just pigs. This happens occasionally in humans too. This same developmental disorder caused the cyclops kitten you may have seen a while back.

It would be interesting to figure out which chemicals might have caused this… but keep in mind that legends of a Cyclops goes way back, so modern pollutants can’t be the only cause. Yes, I think Cyclopes were real.

Hesiod describes one group of cyclopes and Homer describes another. In Hesiod’s Theogony, Zeus releases three Cyclopes, the sons of Uranus and Gaia, from the dark pit of Tartarus. They provide Zeus’s thunderbolt, Hades’ helmet of invisibility, and Poseidon’s trident, and the gods use these weapons to defeat the Titans. In a famous episode of Homer‘s Odyssey, the hero Odysseus encounters the Cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon and a nereid (Thoosa), who lives with his fellow Cyclopes in a distant country. The connection between the two groups has been debated in antiquity and by modern scholars.

This from Science Daily:

Homer’s Cyclops might be myth, but a disorder that can cause babies to be born with only one eye is very real. Scientists from Cleveland, Ohio, and Paris, France, reached an important milestone in understanding one of the molecular causes of a rare, but serious birth defect, Holoprosencephaly. …a known mutation of the TG interacting factor (TGIF) gene, called TGIF.P63R, causes Holoprosencephaly, which affects brain and skull formation. In particular, researchers found that this mutation not only does not produce the protein necessary for healthy fetal development, but the mutant protein may actually destroy the small amounts of the normal protein that is needed. … Holoprosencephaly occurs when the embryonic forebrain fails to divide into the two lobes that make up the cerebral hemispheres. As a result, people with this disorder have a single-lobed brain structure and severe skull and facial defects. In most cases, the disorder is so severe that fetuses die before birth. In relatively “mild” cases, babies may be born with near-normal brain development, but they usually have facial deformities affecting the eyes, nose, and/or upper lip.

For the curious: Could a monkey and a pig mate and have an offspring? No. Except when humans mess with their DNA, animals with different numbers of chromosomes can not produce offspring. Here are some chromosome numbers from wikipedia:

Species # Species #
Common fruit fly 8 Guinea Pig 64
Dove 16 Garden snail 54
Earthworm 36 Tibetan fox 36
Domestic cat 38 Domestic pig 38
Lab mouse 40 Lab rat 42
Rabbit 44 Syrian hamster 44
Hare 46 Human 46
Gorilla, Orangutan,
48 Domestic sheep 54
Elephant 56 Cow 60
Donkey 62 Horse 64
Dog 78 Kingfisher 132
Goldfish 100-104 Silkworm 56

A tiger has 66 chromosomes. What about a pig and a cat? Both domestic cats and domestic pigs have had their entire genome sequenced.

ANSWER: Chromosome number is not the only reproductive barrier between species. Even if a human could mate with a hare, Bugs Bunny would not result.

When they meet, the chromosomes from one parent need to be similar enough to those from the other parent, so that when their genes combine, they produce something that lives. While the human and the hare each have 23 pairs of chromosomes, there is not enough of a match up.

Review: Chromosomes contain pairs of DNA molecules. Each human egg or sperm contains 2.85 billion DNA base pairs in 23 separate chromosomes. Each human chromosome has from 50 million to 250 million DNA pairs. A “gene” is a group of DNA pairs on a chromosome. Humans may have as few as 20,000 genes.

Here is a picture of human male chromosomes:

I haven’t found any photos of hare chromosomes… yet.

The londonpaper had these new photos.  Interesting, isn’t it, that a genetic mutation can make a pig face look similar to a monkey face?

Little hint about evolution, isn’t it? No, I’m not saying a pig could evolve into a monkey.

The way evolution works is, animals change over time, and if they get separated geographically, the two branches keep changing. Eventually they are different enough, like zebras and horses, that they are different species, meaning they can no longer breed and produce offspring.

Mammals have been around for about 200 million years. (Imagine you live to be 80 years old 2 million 500 thousand times…)  That’s a looooooooong time and a lot of mutations.

Wow, that’s some pig.




About Xeno

E pluribus unum.


108 thoughts on “Piglet with monkey’s face / Holoprosencephaly / Homer’s Cyclops,

  1. oh piece of @$#$ i am not wierd u wierdo!!! and first of all i think that piggy is cute. man imagine if everything in the world was perfect then what excitment wuld there be.

    Posted by MARIA | 1 Mar 2009, 7:45 pm
  2. oh an yeah i am eleazar’s sister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by MARIA | 1 Mar 2009, 7:46 pm
  3. Хотя еще до конца непонятно, что там такое происходит, но на 100% могу сказать, что это не в лучшую сторону!

    Posted by BaKiNeC | 8 Mar 2009, 6:04 pm
  4. Comments I can’t translate to English with some on line translator somewhere will be deleted as possible spam.

    Posted by Xeno | 8 Mar 2009, 7:46 pm
  5. I love Pig monkeies. I found about Pig monkeys when I was looking up stuff on Google and I found PIG MONKEY.It is so cute! All I mostly draw is pig monkeys. I love those things!

    Posted by PigmonkeyLover | 17 Mar 2009, 11:40 pm
  6. some [screw]ed up [excrement]

    Posted by Melissa Welther | 15 Apr 2009, 4:52 pm
  7. Most deformities caused by tobacco or exposure to toxic tobacco smoke.

    Posted by Calvin | 21 Jun 2009, 9:55 pm
    • Not true. Radiation is the #1 cause of all mutations.

      Posted by Bryan Micon | 17 Aug 2012, 5:30 pm
      • Most mutations that matter to evolution happen due to small natural errors when DNA is copied as cells divide, not from radiation or chemicals. If you assume 15 trillion cells per
        human an estimate of these natural errors is about 350,000 mutations per minute, going on constantly. We are ALL mutants. You are mutating as you read this.

        Posted by Xeno | 18 Aug 2012, 1:02 am
  8. wow thats really crazy

    Posted by Nikki | 22 Jun 2009, 10:57 pm
  9. Holoprosencephaly will produce this kind of monster -but the brain is simplified . The affliction can be subtle (single upper incisor, intelligent, near normal behaivor) or severe (facial deformity, mentally retarded, epileptic seizures, death in a few years) or lethal (cyclopia, stillborn if mouth is absent, brain just a sack, death comes in a few days…).the worst form of all is total absense of the face &ears joined together. A mutation in a gene that organizes the face is the culprit.

    Posted by Paul R Wilson | 22 Jul 2009, 9:21 pm
  10. The pig must have gotten the H1N1 virus. Strange things happening in this world! 🙂

    Posted by Ecotech | 7 Sep 2009, 5:35 am
  11. Some guy must of had smex with the pig and it came out looking like a human/monkey pig O_O

    Posted by Sponge | 9 Sep 2009, 10:21 pm
  12. A YEAR?! That has got to be a record – I think the longest-lived human cyclops on record survived for three days. However, you clearly have two different pigs pictured here, so there might be some confusion.

    Also, any resemblance between this specimen and a monkey is purely coincidental – most cyclopes don’t look like monkeys or really any normal creature at all. Most of them have a proboscis growing from the middle of the forehead above the eye socket, which is not a feature of any normal mammal.

    Cyclopia can be caused by exposure to natural toxins, not just “modern pollutants”. There is a plant called the western false hellborne that causes ewes to have cyclops lambs.

    The cyclops of Greek myth might be based on babies with holoprosencephaly, but there’s also a theory that ancient Greeks found skulls of elephants and thought they were one-eyed giants – the nasal passage of an elephant looks very much like a huge eye socket.

    Posted by phreeque | 18 Oct 2009, 5:43 am
  13. ill buy him how much plus postage? I will let him sleep in my bed every night I love him like i loved my last freak animal

    Posted by George Jefferson | 1 Dec 2009, 9:27 am
  14. wow that is so nice. very strange. cool man

    Posted by car house | 17 Jan 2010, 7:16 am
  15. I think this is actually a human pig hybrid, and that a lonely man dicided to rape a pig.I think that the villiges men should have to take paternity tests to determan who the father is.I have the human pig hybrid as my computer backgrownd. I would love to make a t-shert with a pictur of it on it. I would also like to make water bottles and school supplis with its pictur on it to take to school. I would love to buy it as a pet, but I would brobly take it to school and reles it in my scienc class. That would be so funny.

    Posted by emma | 11 Apr 2010, 3:25 am
  16. stop calling it monkey pig! its humanoid thats what happens when we let scientists fuck about(not phisicaly)! but we have a bunch of nerd ass scientists messing with that massive partical accelarator! who dont have a clue! THE WORLD IS IN TROUBLE!!!

    Posted by tyler D | 18 Apr 2010, 1:00 pm
  17. poor thing

    Posted by kalavasa | 26 Jul 2010, 3:37 pm
  18. Wow that is seriously creepy!

    Posted by Contemporary Paintings | 6 Aug 2010, 2:24 am
  19. wow……it luks scary bt in a way i fil sori 4 d@ pig or w@e4 u wana name it……………bt hey i wud luv 2 pet it…………lol

    Posted by Suliana Suka Tamani | 19 Oct 2010, 11:29 pm
  20. Looks like some of the DU babies I have seen….(depleted uranium) The U.S. has weaponized it and is selling it all over the world.

    Posted by Revoltin1 | 30 Oct 2010, 1:56 am
  21. when i was 19 i found out i was pregnant with my 2nd child i thought everything was ok everything went good til i went into labor he came so fast i had him in my front yard in a mud puddle my mom delivered him his breathing wasnt good so he was shipped to a childrens hospital 4 days later i was told he had holoprosencaphly and it was bad to plan his funreal he is 13 years old now he cant walk or talk crawl or hold his body weight i dont know why ohow this happened but i love my angel god gave tme

    Posted by tracy glover | 15 Nov 2010, 5:07 am
  22. that is not normal its fucking ugly

    Posted by thatthinglooksfuckingweird | 9 Feb 2011, 9:15 pm
  23. sorry but i personally think this is as sick and mental solution to take care of low minds ,science lol ,isn’t it alwys science ,look in the mirror ,you PIG MONKEIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Liz | 25 Mar 2011, 2:07 am
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    Posted by Adudgefub | 14 Apr 2011, 11:33 am
  25. I personally think this is [screw]ing disgusting. Do you think that pig asked, or wanted to be mutated? No, I’m sure if it had a choice it would want to be normal, as normal as the rest of its species is. Do you think that pig is happy? Probably not. Mutate a human being with a pig face and see how it grows up. Keep [screw]ing with nature, we are going to get what we deserve eventually anyway. I think this is a low point for humanity, but it all falls on deaf ears. here’s to simpler times.

    Posted by cove | 30 Jun 2011, 11:06 pm
  26. Can anyone tell me….. for the love of all that is HOLY!!! How the heck does this happen?!!!!

    Posted by Skyla Jade | 28 Oct 2011, 11:46 am
    • Holiness really doesn’t have much to do with it. I don’t care to speculate about this particular case, but such events, however rare, do occur among humans, also. They’re usually stillbirths. Often such events are due to environmental contamination, synthetic or radioactive, at a appropiate time during growth of the fetus. Or, in some cases, as in Down’s Syndrome, it may be due to the age of the mother. …. Check out comments 10 and 15.

      Posted by Ann | 4 Nov 2011, 10:46 pm
  27. Generally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great article.

    Posted by Строительство | 14 Nov 2011, 8:40 pm
  28. I’ve even seen what is apparently a human/pig hybrid. Just how far will genetic engineering go, I wonder? For one thing I think genetic engineering should be applied to make humans better. I wonder if this is now possible. Perhaps our species still has some evolving to do.

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  29. It?s really a cool and helpful piece of information. I?m satisfied that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted by guinea pig sounds | 19 Dec 2011, 8:11 pm
  30. Perhaps a new species will come out of this, if of coarse it finds a niche and since there is only one, it might not be able to breed with other pigs, due to the mutation, but then again, i’d love see what happens to this pognokey, or whatever it should be named 😛

    Posted by Nick | 5 Mar 2012, 12:35 am
  31. Poor little pig. This is a chromosomal defect and it happens in humans too. Some people are just cruel with their posts.

    Posted by Bella T | 14 Mar 2012, 9:18 pm
  32. Not a bad post in the least!

    Posted by Isaiah Colavito | 20 Mar 2012, 3:14 pm
  33. Wow. Sick. Sad. Cool. I love piggies. That’s one ugly piggy. Poor thing.

    Posted by misty | 9 Jun 2012, 11:57 pm
  34. I have the wierdest bon*r right now..?

    Posted by Lemy Fisen | 20 Jun 2012, 9:40 am
  35. that’s INDONESIA, not CHINA, notice the Indonesian emblem on the guy’s hat, and notice the public faces, they are Indonesian, not Chinese.

    Posted by goki | 18 Nov 2012, 2:46 pm
  36. I have read so many articles or reviews regarding the blogger lovers except this paragraph
    is really a good piece of writing, keep it up.

    Posted by cafepress.com | 21 Nov 2012, 6:00 pm
  37. how many piggies were in the litter? I’m thinking one pig kicked another piggy in the nose and it’s face split and the piggy lived! and kept developing. Amazing!

    Posted by Phylicia | 18 Dec 2012, 4:14 pm
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  39. So strange!

    Posted by Morgan Player | 27 May 2018, 3:24 pm


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