Cows with extra legs growing from neck baffles scientists

Scientists have been baffled after a calf with six legs defied all odds to survive.


A farmer named Divino Paulo helped one of his cows through the birth on his farm in Edeia, Brazil last year, but was left speechless when he noticed two extra legs growing from its neck.


Vets predicted the newborn wouldn’t last long. 


Now, more than a year on, the young cow is still kicking.



Vets were at first worried about the animal’s health and did not think it would survive due to its condition, the farmer said. But it has continued to lead a normal life.


Speaking to the Brazilian newspaper Globo, Mr Paulo said he has named the cow Gambiarra, adding the calf is in “excellent condition”.


Federal University of Goias (UFG) professor, Paulo Jose Bastos Queiroz, explained that the condition is called polymelia.


He said: “Polymelia can be caused by genetic mutations and also by the inadequate growth of twins during pregnancy. These causes may be associated with diseases or nutritional deficiencies that affect the development of foetuses during pregnancy.”

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