Two-headed Shark Discovered: More Cases Likely

Two-headed Shark Discovered: More Cases Likely

Two Headed Shark Discovered

A rare example of a bull shark with two distinct heads has been discovered in the Gulf of Mexico off the southern coast of the U.S.

The bizarre animal was found in the stomach of an adult bull shark and survived long enough to be taken for study at the Florida Keys Community College; unfortunately the baby bull shark died soon after arrival at the Marine Science Department of the college.

The two headed shark is thought to be a mutation similar to those often observed in captive reptiles and snakes, but rarely found in wild animals. When examined the shark was found to have two hearts, stomachs and separate heads classing it as a true two headed creature.

The reasons for the mutation remain unknown, although similar two headed sharks have been discovered in the past in the blue shark and tope shark species; after the shark was discovered rumors began to circulate the mutation had been caused by BP’s Event Horizon oil spill in the Gulf that caused environmental problems in the Gulf of Mexico.

“This is certainly one of those interesting and rarely detected phenomena,” said Michael Wagner, Michigan State University assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife. “It’s good that we have this documented as part of the world’s natural history, but we’d certainly have to find many more before we could draw any conclusions about what caused this.”

“You’ll see many more cases of two-headed lizards and snakes,” he said. “That’s because those organisms are often bred in captivity, and the breeders are more likely to observe the anomalies.”

According to Science Daily, as part of the published brief, Wagner noted that some may want to attribute the deformed shark to exposure to pollutants.

“Given the timing of the shark’s discovery with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, I could see how some people may want to jump to conclusions,” Wagner said. “Making that leap is unwarranted. We simply have no evidence to support that cause or any other.”

More examples of two headed bull sharks would have to be found before a new species could be classified, but two headed mutations rarely survive long in the wild, according to marine animal experts.


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