A two-headed shark fetus was caught off the Florida Keys.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a great white shark was recently caught off the coast of Florida. We even found out that great white sharks eat a whole lot more than expected, needing to consume 90 to 120 kilograms of blubber to survive for 1.5 months out in the wild before another meal.
But this particular two-headed shark fetus was discovered when a fisherman caught the mother bull shark only to discover a live baby shark inside. This rare shark specimen was shared with scientists and the two-headed shark fetus study was published online today (March 25) in the Journal of Fish Biology.
The two-headed shark fetus is technically called “axial bifurcation,” which is a deformity that resulted in the shark embryo beginning to split into two separate organisms, or twins. But half way through the process the embryo stops dividing, resulting in the two-headed shark fetus we see now.
Michael Wagner, a study co-author and researcher at Michigan State University, explains that the two-headed shark fetus would not have survived long if it had been born:
“When you’re a predator that needs to move fast to catch other fast-moving fish … that’d be nearly impossible with this mutation. It had very developed heads, but a very stunted body. There’s only so much energy that can go into the body’s development, and it went into the shark’s double noggins.”
Two-headed animals are not that uncommon but two-headed sharks are fairly rare. There only six published reports on records. Two-headed snakes and turtles can even be purchased as pets from specialty breeders.
What do you think about the two-headed shark fetus?