- (Photo: Reuters/Francisco Bonilla)
A 2-headed shark fetus has been found off the Florida Keys, stunning fishermen, according to reports.
The extraordinary find came about when a fisherman caught a Bull Shark recently off the Florida Keys. However, later upon inspection it was found that one of the shark's live fetuses had two heads, according to Live Science.
The fishermen then took his find to scientists, who have since published a study into the two-headed fetus on March 25 in the Journal of Fish Biology.
This is not the first such occurrence, however, and Michael Wagner, a study co-author and researcher at Michigan State University, has said that there are about six previously recorded instances of double-headed sharks. However, according to Live Science, this is the first time it has been seen in a Bull Shark.
The occurrence is said to take place as a result of an embryo beginning to split into two separate organisms (twins). However, before the splitting can finish the process is stopped for some reason, resulting in a two-headed fetus.
Sharks are not the only animals that this happens in, and the technical name for the deformity, "axial bifurcation," reportedly takes place across various species, and even including humans.
Wagner has told Live Science: "Halfway through the process of forming twins, the embryo stops dividing."
However, even though the fetus was alive when it was caught in this instance, Wagner claims that it is highly unlikely it would have survived for long in the ocean.
"When you're a predator that needs to move fast to catch other fast-moving fish … that'd be nearly impossible with this mutation."
Photos of the two-headed Bull Shark fetus can be seen on Live Science by clicking here.