Two-headed snakes: the seal of an environmental disaster (7 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 16
16 February 2024

Two-headed snakes are not a photoshop, but a prime example of a defect in evolutionary production. One unfortunate mutation turns an ordinary reptile into a hydra, which is completely different from the mythical monster.

- You separate first! - No you! - No you!

It all starts at the very beginning of development, even at the embryonic stage. At one point, the egg decides that it wants to be not one snake, but two at once. In a normal situation, twin snakes would be born. But instead of the normal divergence of the two carcasses, a breakdown occurs, and the process stops without ending. So a significant portion of the twins becomes common. By the way, people also sometimes mutate like this and become Siamese twins. But in reptiles this is much more common.

- I'm right! - And I'm a lion!

It's not just snakes that suffer from head problems. In lizards, turtles and even crocodiles, bifurcation of the fetus can be observed. But even among people who have defeated natural selection, Siamese twins are rare. Why is this a relatively common occurrence in reptiles?

A two-headed crocodile could become the coat of arms of some country. Seriously, individuals with such a weak “glue” can be operated on and saved if desired.

It's all about the characteristics of reproduction! In mammals, the unborn child is securely packed inside the mother for the entire period of initial development. While the babies of lizards, snakes and other reptiles are separated from the outside world only by the soft shell of their eggs.

That same look from a girl and her friend when you pass by.

A mutagen substance, radiation, or even some kind of virus can easily get inside, breaking the DNA right in the middle of cell division. The likelihood of marriage is increased not only by internal predispositions, but also by external factors. This is why two-headed reptiles are more often found in the trashiest countries in Asia and Africa. In places where the environmental situation is close to catastrophic.

Damn navigator, where to turn?!

For both humans and snakes, having two heads is a big problem. The Hydra will not turn into a voracious creature and will not terrorize the entire Greek region. Simply because he is unlikely to live long. Two-headed animals go to the next world twice as fast as reptiles with a standard set of heads. And all because two brains on one carcass do not know about each other and decide that they are in sole command of the tail.

Moreover, the control of a specific head over the entire body or its parts is chaotic and varies from individual to individual.

The conflict of commands manifests itself every second - the left head wants to crawl to the right, and the right head wants to climb a tree. But both heads want to eat, so they will enthusiastically fight with each other for food, which will still end up in one belly. Sometimes it turns into a real game of thrones with power seized by one head or the other.

The esophagus in twins either merges into one, or in one head it ends in a dead end. But there may be other options.

Of course, mutated animals are completely unviable in the wild. Often a dispute about which way to go is noticed by some predator and, without thinking twice, the hamster eats a double portion. This is how wrong innovations and the usual order of things are stopped in nature...

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