Two- Headed Porpoise Discovered!
June 16, 2017
Dutch fishermen had found a two-headed creature which is now confirmed as the first case of conjoined twin porpoises.
With a single body and two fully grown heads, this is a case of partial twinning, or parapagus dicephalus. The sighting is extremely rare: these male porpoises are only the 10th known case of conjoined twins in cetaceans, a group of animals that also includes whales and dolphins. The fishers who made the discovery returned the twins – which were probably already dead when caught – to the ocean. They believed it would be illegal to keep such a specimen, but were able to produce a series of photographs useful for research.
WHAT DID RESEARCHERS FIND?
Researchers conclude that the twins died shortly after birth, because their tail had not stiffened, which is necessary for newborn dolphins to be able to swim. Other signs of their age were a flat dorsal fin that should have become vertical soon after entering the ocean water and hairs on the upper lip, which should fall out shortly after birth.
Partial twinning can happen in one of two ways: two initially separate embryonic discs can fuse together or the zygote can only partially split during the early development process. Normal twins are extremely rare in cetaceans. There is simply not enough room in the body of the female to give room to more than one fetus. It is likely that most conjoined twins will go unnoticed by science because of the vast size of our oceans.