NOV 03, 2016 07:51 AM PDT

Dual-Headed Shark Finding is a True Rarity

Researchers from the University of Malaga in Spain recently come across a shark embryo with two heads, something that is relatively rare in nature for the most part, but has been more and more common as of recent years.
 

A two-headed shark is more unique than any every found.

 Image Credit: Journal of Fish Biology

It’s an embryo of an Atlantic Sawtail Catshark (Galeus atlanticus), which had not only two heads, but also two hearts, two stomachs, two esophagi, and even two livers, despite sharing the same single body.
 
Published in the Journal of Fish Biology, this unique finding out of 797 individual embryo samples stood out the most to the researchers.
 
Although two-headed sharks have been documented in the past in other shark species, their situations are a little different from this one for a very important reason.
 
Two-headed sharks have been observed in both viviparous and ovoviviparous species; the former means the species develops inside the mother’s body without eggs, and the latter means the species is hatched inside the mother’s body from eggs.
 
In this case however, it is the first time this has been documented in an oviparous species, which is a species that lays eggs outside the body to hatch.
 
The double-headed phenomenon is believed to occur only in vertebrates as a genetic mutation. It has been seen in much more than just sharks, including but not limited to snakes, lizards, dolphins.
 
Overfishing may have some impact on the condition, known as dicephaly, as it leads to inbreeding and causes genetic mutations to happen on a larger scale.
 
Source: National Geographic

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 19, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 19, 2018
This African Bird is New to Science, and Conservationists Say It's Already in Trouble
Endemic to Africa’s mid-elevation forest space is the Willard’s Sooty Boubou, a bird species that, up until recently, wasn’t recognized b...
OCT 01, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 01, 2018
Plants Thicken Their Leaves in Response to High CO2 Levels, and That's Bad
Earth’s plants and animals form a symbiotic relationship. As plants convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen, animal respiration then turns it...
OCT 10, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 10, 2018
Like Humans, Chimpanzees Share Food with Their Closest Peers
People often share food with their friends, not only because it’s fun, but also because we evolved from a time in which our ancestors shared food to...
OCT 16, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 16, 2018
Reintroduction of Wolves to Yellowstone National Park Yielded Positive Impact, Study Shows
Something incredible has been happening at Yellowstone National Park since the introduction of wolves there in 1995, and a new study published this week in...
OCT 19, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 19, 2018
Ant Brains: A Treasure trove of Knowledge
Ants, fascinating social insects, studying their foraging behavior reveals valuable information....
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Steaks Aren't the Only Things We Get From Cows
It’s no secret that cows are routinely slaughtered for beef, but what if we told you that only about 60% of the cow gets harvested for food? Fret not...
Loading Comments...