In north-east America, a local came face to face with a two-headed snake. A very rare find: the likelihood of the snake’s survival in the wild are almost next to none!
Mr. Kleopfer from Woodbridge, in northern Virginia made an incredible discovery in September 2018 as seen in a report from ABC News with it’s accompanying video (see below). The young man found a two-headed copperhead snake in his back garden. A very rare species in itself but even more so with two heads. The reptile has since been entrusted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, a local animal protection service.
A herpetologist at the center examined the reptile and carried out radio scans. These scans revealed that the snake had two esophagus and two windpipes. In contrast, the snake has only one pair of lungs and one heart. This snake has a “polycephaly” condition which is a mutation similar to Siamese humans. As the fetus begins separation it is stopped in it’s tracks, so that the two embryos remain stuck.
The survival chances of this two-headed copperhead snake in nature are almost next to none. The animal has two different brains which understandably makes coordination difficult. With two minds working independently, the snake will make contradictory signals to make body movements. This can be seen in the video taken but the local who discovered the reptile.
The herpetologist said that the esophagus of the viper’s right head was more developed as was probably used for feeding, but that the left head was more prone to attacking prey. However this appears to be primarily due to anatomical reasons rather than the snake dividing tasks between it’s two heads.
At any rate, volunteers from the Wildlife Center of Virginia are currently waiting to house the snake in a zoo where it can expect to have a more relaxing life!