Weird Two-Headed Porpoise Discovered In Netherlands

Posted: Jun 14 2017, 2:29pm CDT | by , Updated: Jun 14 2017, 2:34pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Weird Two-Headed Porpoise Discovered in Netherlands
Credit: Erwin Kompanje

It is the first known case of conjoined twin porpoises

Scientists have confirmed the discovery of first ever porpoise with two heads.

The weird creature was accidently caught by fishermen off the coast of Netherlands. However, it was reportedly dead when they found it.

The discovery marks only the 10th documented case of conjoined twins in cetaceans - a diverse group of marine mammals that also includes whales and dolphins. There have been other species in the group like dolphins born with two heads. But it is the first record of partial twinning, or parapagus dicephalus in porpoise.

“The anatomy of cetaceans is strikingly different from terrestrial mammals with adaptations for living in the sea as a mammal. Much is unknown.” Erwin Kompanje at the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam told New Scientist. “Adding any extra case to the known nine specimens brings more knowledge on this aspect.”

The fishermen who made the discovery returned the porpoise to the ocean but not before taking some of its pictures. The porpoise was a male baby and had a single body and two fully grown heads. It also had a soft tail, not-yet-firm dorsal fin and small hairs on its upper jaw. All these features would have changed if it remained alive.

Two-headed sea creatures have seen few and far between. This is due to the fact that most of the creatures with abnormalities dye shortly after birth. Even if they reach maturity, they have little chance to survive in their environment due to their deformed bodies. They would have trouble swimming and weak digestive system, causing them to die prematurely.

Therefore, researchers can not draw any conclusions about what caused the mutation. However, they say either embryonic cells that had been separated fusing together or the incomplete separation of cells during the early development could be the most plausible cause for the two-headed porpoise.

Porpoise is not a very widespread animal itself and is found in coastal waters of Northern Hemisphere.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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