Two-Headed Shark Found

Two-Headed SharkWe’ve written about a cyclops shark, freshwater sharks, and whorl-toothed sharks, but we have to add a new curiosity to the digital curio: a two-headed shark.

A fisherman working off the Florida Keys recently caught a bull shark, then opened it up to find that it contained two live fetuses, including one highly unusual one with two heads. The fishermen gave it to scientists, who wrote about it in an article published in the Journal of Fish Biology this week.

The scientists, led by C. Michael Wagner of Michigan State University, said it was the first known case of the phenomenon in bull sharks, and one of only about a half dozen recorded cases of a two-headed shark anywhere.

“In and of itself, this single natural history observation does not tells us anything Earth-shattering about the health of the world’s oceans or populations of bull sharks,” Wagner told Ocean Views via e-mail today.

“It’s simply a rarely observed phenomena that we recorded. Yet, it does capture public attention, and what a great opportunity for journalists like yourself to shine the light on some interesting information that does bear on that very important question.” [Does the two-headed shark teach us anything about the health of the ocean?]

As further reading, Wagner pointed to the recent Ocean Health Index published in the journal Nature by Benjamin Halpern and colleagues.

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