It's not just any two-headed shark. It's the rarest two-headed shark ever recorded
Discovery has sent shockwaves through the world of marine biology
Wednesday 27 March 2013
Scientists have confirmed that a shark found off the coast of Florida in 2011 was a single specimen with two heads, rather than conjoined twins.
The discovery has sent shockwaves through the world of marine biology, with scientists calling it the rarest two-headed shark ever recorded.
The fisherman got double what he bargained for when he caught a regular adult bull-shark on a routine trip. After opening the uterus, he found the baby.
He immediately handed the specimen, who was alive at the time, over to experts, who ran extensive tests.
A team at Michigan State University revealed the shark, which died shortly after discovery, had two distinct heads, hearts and stomachs, with the remainder of the body joining together at the back to form a single tail.
The cause of the deformity is not clear, but there have been suggestions that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 might have been a contributing factor.
The deformity, technically known as "axial bifurcation," occurs when the embryo stops before completely splitting into two separate organisms.
Michael Wagner, a researcher at Michigan State University explained that had the shark had survived in the wild, it would not have lived long.
"When you're a predator that needs to move fast to catch other fast-moving fish ... that'd be nearly impossible with this mutation," he said.
It had very developed heads, but a very stunted body. The energy put into the developing the body reduces as a result of the development of two heads," he added.
It is thought that the investigation into the deformed shark might be helpful to further comprehend the causes of such deformities in sharks and other animals.
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 2 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
- 5 We have six months to save the world, says leading economist
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Sepp Blatter resigns: FBI are investigating outgoing Fifa president, claims report
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity for someone wi...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an awa...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading temperature contro...