Medics at Albert Sabin Children’s Hospital in Fortaleza, Brazil were stunned when a baby was born with a 4-inch fleshy tail – one of only 40 cases of the rare birth defect ever recorded
Doctors have removed a four-inch “true human tail” and a strange sphere hanging from a baby’s bottom – in one of only 40 cases ever recorded.
Medical staff were stunned when the infant was born with the stragne appendage at Albert Sabin Children’s Hospital in Fortaleza, Brazil.
The child’s birth and tail-removal surgery were pictured in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery Case Reports.
The fascinating images show the curious growth and include a detailed explanation of how it formed on the youngster’s body.
According to the study, humans can have a “tail” while in the womb, but it’s usually reabsorbed before birth.
But in some incredibly rare cases the tail continues to grow.
What makes the youngster’s growth so different is that it contained no cartilage or bone, making it a “true human tail”, the Daily Star reports.
It is just one of 40 cases of the birth defect ever documented.
The first report of the “true” tail dates back to the 19th Century, according to the journal.
The little one’s fifth limb was the only complication after its birth at 35 weeks premature around January this year.
It was only after an ultrasound scan that doctors confirmed the tail was not attached to its nervous system, meaning it could be surgically removed.
It’s currently unknown if the child experienced pain during the surgery or if the tail was removed at parent’s request.
Following its removal, doctors discovered the ball was composed of fat and embryonic connective tissue. The tail itself was just boneless tissue.
The report dubbed the tail a “rare congenital anomaly” and admitted scientists do not yet fully understand it.
The apes that preceded humanity lost their tails 25 million years ago.
One theory suggests the loss came after a genetic mutation which also helped improve out upright mobility.