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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Rare twin-headed racer snake found in Palm Harbor, Florida

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 1:13 PM

click to enlarge Double-brained snek. - PHOTO BY JONATHAN MAYS/FWC FISH AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
  • PHOTO BY JONATHAN MAYS/FWC FISH AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
  • Double-brained snek.

Two-headed serpents may be common in ancient mythology, but not so much in real life. However, a Palm Harbor family recently discovered a rare two-headed Southern black racer snake.

The snake has a condition called bicephaly, which happens when two monozygotic twins fail to separate during embryo development, leaving both heads on a single body, according to the Florida Wildlife Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research.

In an update post on Facebook, Kay Rogers and her family said Dos (the snake) was doing well, but that his biggest problem was eating, as he has trouble coordinating his two heads.


“Two-headed snakes like this are unlikely to survive in the wild,” the FWC said, “as the two brains make different decisions that inhibit the ability to feed or escape from predators.”

After communicating with the Rogers family, Dos is being cared for by FWC staff members.


This story first appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa.


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