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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Double-headed milk snake

Here’s a snake with a split personality.
 
The odds of a two-headed, or bicephalic, snake being born are 10,000 to one, but nevertheless, this albino Honduran milk snake was recently hatched in the US.
 
Staff at conservation group Sunshine Serpents in Florida were incubating seven milk snake eggs, but got a huge shock when nine heads emerged, because as well as the two-headed snake, one egg contained twins.
 
Owner Daniel Parker, a University of Central Florida biologist, said: "I did a double take. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at."
The two-headed albino Honduran milk snake
The two-headed albino Honduran milk snake
Often, the term albino refers to white colouring, but for snakes, it simply means a lack of dark pigmentation.

Biologist Parker says two-headed snakes have been documented to live as long as 20 years in captivity.

With two brains giving commands to a single body, he says the snake, which isn’t venomous, would have a difficult time surviving in the wild.

Milk snakes are said by some to suck milk from cows' udders, but this is a myth.
They do however favour living in barns, as they like cool dark environments, which may be the source of the misconception.

Their diet consists of insects, lizards, birds and small mammals.

Another two-headed creature that hit the headlines this year was an African Spurred Tortoise born in Slovakia.

It was given two names Madga (left head) and Lenka - and even had five feet.

Image Source: Daily Mail

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