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

By | July 26, 2008

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

Update: 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.[2]

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,
Chimpanzee
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.

Update: July 21, 2009

He is a year older now and still seems to be doing well. 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.

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.

pig-born-with-the-face-of-a-monkey_0

monkey-faced-pig-shocks-the-world_0

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

  1. SilviusMD

    That’s not a piglet-monkey dna experiment it’s probably just a piglet with 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.

  2. Adam

    They had to do it with a pig and a monkey. They couldn’t do it with a pig and an elephant, because everyone know’s the Loverboy song, pig and elephant DNA just won’t splice.

  3. Xeno Post author

    Thanks very much Silvius! Indeed. I just saw a photo of a human baby with the same condition [WARNING: freaky]. Obviously the same thing.

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  6. David Carvin

    So you’re saying the garden snail and the domestic sheep, both 54, could produce offspring?

  7. dogsounds

    And we could only cross-breed with rabbits? Wow. Would make the walk to walk shorter 🙂

    Hubbits?
    Ramans?

    mmm…Ramen…

    Sorry 🙂

  8. ruinevil

    FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mules

    The sterility is attributed to the differing number of chromosomes of the two species: donkeys have 62 chromosomes, whereas horses have 64.

    Mules have been bred for thousands of years, far before humanity’s ability to screw with genes.

    Among mammals, closely related species can occasionally mate and give birth hybrids. However, the resulting progeny is usually screwed up, due to an unusual proportions of expressed proteins.

    If there is a different number of chromosomes between the two species, then the male progeny is usually sterile, since meiosis fails, and sperm formation lacks the quality control that ova production has.

    The resulting generations of parent species X hybrids are usually even worst off.

  9. caiter

    oh… this little guy makes me sad. the craziest thing about pigs is supposed to be how they can herd sheep by talking to them or how they make friends with wise little spiders named charlotte.

  10. Kate

    That thing is so ugly. It’s sad. You just want to cuddle it, then throw up. The science side of it is pretty cool, though!

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  12. sweet bacon

    poor piglet. he lokos so sad in the 3rd picture. somebody bring him to me so i can cuddle and love him. 🙁

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  14. larry

    “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.[2]”

    ———
    Doesn’t anyone read Freud anymore? The dream symbolism is so obvious here it’s almost embarrassing. Even the ancient Greeks understood the sexual implications of dreams better than modern scholars (so-called).

    “Cyclops” originated in ancient dreams. It is a penis disguise. What do *caves* represent in dreams? What do *helmets* and *lightning bolts* represent?

  15. Marisa

    That deformed pig is not in China, it’s in Indonesia.
    The pig is real though but Orange seemed to have made that story up.

  16. Marisa

    Correction. The pig in the first picture is indeed from Fengzhang village, China — as posted in Orange. But one in the other two is from Watuliney village, North Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.

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  18. Xeno Post author

    Marisa,
    The more I look at them, the more I see differences…. like the bottom two don’t seem to have the same lump on top of the head… but how could these three pics not all be the same pig? If you have evidence to support your claim, please share it. Thanks, Xeno

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  20. justamazed

    The sad thing is that I heard that pigs have the intellect of a 3 year old child. Pigs have been known to make awesome pets.
    Is this animal in pain, is this animal able to survive on its own.
    Or is this animal only to be treated like a freak?

  21. Alex

    WTF WTF WTF WTF!!!!!! its scaring the [bleep] outta me! I hope its not in pain… almost as bad as Mung

  22. Jordan Glossop

    “Even if a human could mate with a hare, Bugs Bunny would not result.”

    Whadda ya mean if ?

  23. John

    If u ask me, I think a man [had sex with] the piglets mom!
    Poor piglet! 🙁
    I would like to shoot that man, who’s with me?

  24. Ivy

    You know what this looks like, its eyes look like they are probably blind, but if you look at this mutated pig, it looks like its real snout is on its head, and like it could be folded down onto its face. It may look like a monkey, but its not.

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  27. Etna

    Poor little piglets! They make me want to cry. I also hope they aren’t suffering, and if they are they should be humanely euthanized.

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  30. Aulia

    Xeno,

    I cannot say that they are not the same pig, but as far as the location is concerned the third picture proofs it. First of all the skin tone and facial look are of indonesian. Also judging from the cap that he wears it bears the national symbol of indonesia.

    As for the piglet, i feel sorry that that little guys has to be a freak of nature.

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  34. Rivkah

    Poor little thing. I hope they will take good care of it. After all, it is a living creature with feelings. They should ask the vet if it is suffering or if it can live alright. Its eyes don’t look too healthy. It looks really sad.

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  36. chelsey :P

    omg poor baby pig…i would pay any price to own it…its really adorable.
    i wish he wasn’t getting all that attention though.People taking his picture and calling him ”mutated” he probably doesnt like it and thats why he is frowning :/
    i thinks this pig is perfect!!!

  37. BaKiNeC

    Мне вот интересно, а есть кто-то, кто не совсем согласен с автором ? 🙂

    1. Lenore

      In regards to cyclops legends…. Those were started by the people who first saw elephant skulls. An elephant’s nasal cavity is one hole between the eyes, unlike the human’s which is 2 holes below the eye level. This led to the legends of one-eyed, 2-tusked giants in Africa. So I’d have to disagree that this “cyclops deformity”, as I’ve heard it called, goes that far back. Especially if it’s chemical related.

      1. Dipper

        Well, actually it wasn’t even elephants which caused the rumor. It were mammoths. Still, you’re right. Don’t think that cyclops really inhabited this world.

  38. MARIA

    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.

  39. BaKiNeC

    Хотя еще до конца непонятно, что там такое происходит, но на 100% могу сказать, что это не в лучшую сторону!

  40. Xeno Post author

    Comments I can’t translate to English with some on line translator somewhere will be deleted as possible spam.

  41. PigmonkeyLover

    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!

      1. Xeno Post author

        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.

  42. Paul R Wilson

    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.

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  44. phreeque

    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.

  45. George Jefferson

    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

  46. emma

    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.

  47. tyler D

    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!!!

    1. tater

      Tyler, you should learn some science before you try to criticize. Ranting about something you know nothing about just makes you look stupid.

  48. Suliana Suka Tamani

    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

  49. Revoltin1

    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.

  50. tracy glover

    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

  51. Liz

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  53. cove

    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.

    1. Justin

      Nobody intentionally mutated this pig; it has a rare genetic disorder that for some reason occurred in this animal.

    1. Ann

      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.

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  55. Jeremy Keller

    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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  57. Nick

    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 😛

  58. Bella T

    Poor little pig. This is a chromosomal defect and it happens in humans too. Some people are just cruel with their posts.

  59. goki

    that’s INDONESIA, not CHINA, notice the Indonesian emblem on the guy’s hat, and notice the public faces, they are Indonesian, not Chinese.

  60. Phylicia

    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!

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