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article imageLike A Dog With Two Noses

By Michelle Duffy     Aug 10, 2007 in World
Explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell is known for discovering the strangest of all of Mother Nature's creatures, yet one not so curious as the double snouted dog from Bolivia
The intrepid explorer has come face to face with the weirdest, the creepiest and the just plain bonkers, yet nothing is quite so unexplainable to the naked eye as the double nosed dog from Bolivia.
Blashford-Snell has seen them all - vampire bats and bees with attitude, but the dog better known now to us as the Double-Nosed Andean tiger hound, has got to be the craziest. The dog, which was discovered recently has been given a name of equal individuality - Xingu.
In a statement, the chairman of the Scientific Exploration Society had confirmed that the poor animal, who is quite unaware of his uniqueness, was "not terribly handsome". He continued,
"This breed could be used for sniffing out mines or narcotics because they have an enhanced sense of smell."
Well you certainly wouldn't another nose next to the old one which actually didn't do much...
Yet this isn't the first double honker dog which has been encountered by the travelling Colonel. Bella, named and found in 2005, met the explorer and his team on an official expedition near Ojaki.
He recalled,
"While we were there, sitting by the fire one night, I saw an extraordinary-looking dog that appeared to have two noses. I was sober at the time, and then I remembered the story that the legendary explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett came back with in 1913 of seeing such strange dogs in the Amazon jungle. Nobody believed him, they laughed him out of court."
Strange - the only time I could ever recall seeing a dog with two of anything was under the influence.
It is believed that Bella is Xingu's mother, and now the son has had a litter with a single nosed dog, of his own. Two of the litter born had the double nose feature of their father. The other two were born with single noses. Very sadly, the two double nosed pups died at only three days old.
So perhaps the double nose feature is something of a birth deformity like a cleft palate, but apparently this is not the case in this breed of dog. When Xingu was examined recently and there are, two very definite, separate noses on his face.
Blashford-Snell said,
"There is a chance that these dogs came from a breed with double noses that's known in Spain as Pachon Navarro, which were hunting dogs at the time of the Conquistadors. I think it's highly likely some of these were taken to South America and they continued to breed. They're good hunting dogs."
So is Xingu a happy dog? Well, he does have a bit of a temper and his best friend in the whole world is a wild pig called Gregory - both are top "dogs" in the village where they live.
"Other dogs snarl at Xingu, because they can sense he's different. He's the smallest dog there but he sees the other dogs off. He's very intelligent and with a wonderful sense of smell, as you might think. The Bolivian Army came and took DNA samples because they're interested in the breed. He's not the only dog like this, there are others in the area."
Snell and his team are in Bolivia unearthing the remains of the impact of a meteor which hit earth around 30,000 years ago. He believes that a tribe of humans were wiped out when the creator was made in the Amazon Basin. The creator is about five miles wide.
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