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Double Monsters

body, twins, separate, head, pelvis, condition and lower

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DOUBLE MONSTERS Twins are the physiological analogy of double monsters, and some of the latter have come very near to being two separate individuals. The Siamese twins, who died in 1874 at the age of sixty, were joined only by a thick fleshy ligament from the lower end of the breast-bone (xiphoid cartilage), having the common navel on its lower border; the anatomical examination showed, however, that a process of peritoneum extended through the liga ment from one abdominal cavity to the other, and that the blood vessels of the two livers were in free communication across the same bridge. From double monstrosity, like the Siamese twins, there are all grades of fantastic fusion of two individuals into one down to the condition of a small body or fragment parasitic upon a well-grown inf ant—the condition known as foetus in foetu. These monstrosities may be deviations from the usual kind of twin gestation (one foetus being partially included within the body of the other) or from a rarer physiological type of dual develop ment. In by far the majority of cases twins have separate uterine appendages, and have probably been developed from distinct ova ; but in a small proportion of (recorded) cases there is evidence, in the placental and enclosing structures, that the twins had been developed from two rudiments which arise side by side on a single blastoderm. The perfect physiological type of this appears to be two rudiments on one blastoderm, whose entirely separate development produces twins (under their rarer circumstances), whose nearly separate development produces such double monsters as the Siamese twins, and whose less separate development produces the various forms of two individuals in one body.

Symmetrical Double Monsters

are subdivided according to the part of the body where' the fusion exists—head, thorax, umbi licus or pelvis. One of the simplest cases is a Janus head upon a single body, or there may be two pairs of arms with the two faces. Again, there may be one head with two necks and two complete trunks and pairs of extremities. Two distinct heads (with more or less of neck) may surmount a single trunk, broad at the shoulders but with only one pair of arms. The fusion, again, may

be from the middle of the thorax downwards, giving two heads and two pairs of shoulders and arms, but only one trunk and one pair of legs. In another variety, the body may be double down to the waist, but the pelvis and lower limbs single. The degree of union in the region of the head, abdomen or pelvis may be so slight as to permit of two distinct organs or sets of organs in the respective cavities, or so great as to have the viscera in common ; and there is hardly ever an intermediate condition between those extremes. Thus, in the Janus head there may be two brains, or only one brain. The pelvis is one of the commonest regions for double monsters to be joined at, and, as in the head and abdomen, the junction may be slight or total. The Hungarian sisters Helena and Judith (1701-23) were joined at the sacrum, but had the pelvic cavity and pelvic organs separate; the same condition obtained in the South Carolina negresses Millie and Christina, known as the "two-headed nightingale," and in the Bohemian sisters Rosalie and Josepha.

Unequal Double Monsters, Foetus in Foetu.

There are some well authenticated instances of this most curious of all anomalies. The most celebrated of these parasite-bearing monsters was a Genoese, Lazarus Johannes Baptista Colloredo, born in 1716, who was figured as a child by Licetus, and again by Bartho linus at the age of 28 as a young man of average stature. The parasite adhered to the lower end of his breastbone, and was a tolerably well-formed child, wanting only one leg; it breathed, slept at intervals, and moved its body, but it had no separate nutritive functions. The parasite is more apt to be a miniature acardiac and acephalous fragment, as in the case of the one borne in front of the abdomen of a Chinaman figured by I. Geoffroy St. Hilaire. Sometimes the parasite is contained in a pouch under the skin of the abdominal wall, and in another class (of which there is a specimen in the Hunterian museum) it has been included, by the closure of the ventral laminae, within the abdominal cavity of the foetus—a true foetus in foetu.

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