2-Headed Shark Fetus Netted by Fisherman -


2-Headed Shark Fetus Netted by Fisherman

Date: 25 March 2013 Time: 01:16 PM ET

The two-headed bull shark fetus. It's about 8 inches (20 centimeters) from head to head.
CREDIT: Journal of Fish Biology / C. M. Wagner et al
When a fisherman caught a bull shark recently off the Florida Keys, he came across an unlikely surprise: One of the shark's live fetuses had two heads.

The fisherman kept the odd specimen, and shared it with scientists, who described it in a study published online today (March 25) in the Journal of Fish Biology. It's one of the very few examples of a two-headed shark ever recorded — there about six instances in published reports — and the first time this has been seen in a bull shark, said Michael Wagner, a study co-author and researcher at Michigan State University.

Technically called "axial bifurcation," the deformity is a result of the embryo beginning to split into two separate organisms, or twins, but doing so incompletely, Wagner told OurAmazingPlanet. It's a very rare mutation that occurs across different animals, including humans.

"Halfway through the process of forming twins, the embryo stops dividing," he said.

The two-headed fetus likely wouldn't have lived for very long in the wild, he said. "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.  [See the two-headed shark.]

Wagner said the description of the deformed shark may someday help better understand how these deformities arise in sharks and other animals.

Two-headed snakes and turtles can be bought from certain specialty breeders, and there is a small market for such creatures, Wagner said.

Several of the few examples of two-headed sharks available today come from museum specimens from the late 1800s, when deformed animals and other macabre curiosities fetched high prices, he said.

Another reason the two-headed shark likely wouldn't have survived: its small body. "It had very developed heads, but a very stunted body," Wagner said. There's only so much energy that can go into the body's development, and it went into the shark's double noggins, he added.

A radiograph of the two-headed shark.
CREDIT: Journal of Fish Biology / C. M. Wagner et al


Watch the terrifying moment a great white shark got INSIDE a cage and almost ate a newlywed for dinner

By Daily Mail Reporter

One new wife nearly lost her husband after only one day of marriage after a group of thrillseekers got far more than they bargained for.

On Thursday a group of friends went shark diving off the coast of Gansbaai, South Africa. But one great white with a very sore head decided to ignore the strategically placed bait and head straight for the human foodstuff.

Youtube user Bryan Plummer uploaded a video which shows the full horror of the the attack, where the huge shark gets its head of sharp teeth right inside the diving cage.

The man closest to the great white's face just manages to swim under the gaping maw. This diver, known only as Roger, had got married only the day before.

The great white shark seems to get its head stuck inside the bars of the safety cage and thrashes around in the water.

At one point the beast gets turned on its back to reveal its fangs to the camera. In all the confusion it is impossible to tell what has happened to the divers in the cage.

But after a nervous few moments they bob to the surface, unharmed save for frayed nerves.

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NEWS: 100 Million Sharks Killed Each Year

PHOTOS: 5 Sharks, Rays Needing Urgent Protection

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anybody thinking the tonnes of Corexit poured into the Gulf by BP may be resposible for his mutation?