Unveiling Australia’s Two-Headed Snake Named after Batman’s Arch-Enemy

Born in captivity, the Aussie snake was taken to The Unusual Pet Vets in Jindalee, Queensland, after hatching with two heads.

The carpet python was soon dubbed Two-Face – like Batman’s nemesis Harvey Dent, who dies at the end of the 2008 film, The Dark Knight.

And just like his namesake, the snake did not survive.

Vet Josh Llinas said: ‘The snake was hatched in captivity and was initially thought to be twins in the egg, but when it came out of the egg it was apparent that was not the case.

A mutant two-headed snake named for a Batman villain has shared the fate of its comic-book counterpart
Born in captivity, the Aussie snake was taken to The Unusual Pet Vets in Jindalee, Queensland, after hatching with two heads

‘It is not known for sure how this happened but it is thought it was destined to be twins that did not fully divide.

‘All other individuals in the clutch were normal so it is not expected to have been an issue with the incubation.’

The odds of a two-headed snake hatching are thought to be about one in 100,000.

And the odds of such a snake surviving are longer still.

Dr Llinas said: ‘In this case, the challenges would be basic ambulation difficulties due to the severe spinal changes and the position of the heads.

‘There would be difficulty eating as this species is a constrictor which would have lead to issues.

‘It would have ben difficult for any food to pass past the insertion point of the second head.

‘There were two hearts and one was a lot smaller – it was being compressed by the larger heart, and it was suspected it would have failed in the near future.’

The odds of a two-headed snake hatching are thought to be about one in 100,000. And the odds of such a snake surviving are longer still
Vet Josh Llinas said: 'The snake was hatched in captivity and was initially thought to be twins in the egg, but when it came out of the egg it was apparent that was not the case'
A postmortem revealed that – as well as two heads – the snake had two brains, two lungs, two stomachs, two gall bladders and two hearts

He continued: ‘A number of tests were performed and the snake was unlikely to live with a good quality of life.

‘Which was why euthanasia was performed to end and prevent suffering.’

A postmortem revealed that – as well as two heads – the snake had two brains, two lungs, two stomachs, two gall bladders and two hearts.

Both heads shared a single set of intestines and kidneys, and they had just one testicle between them – a normal snake has two.

Although each head functioned independently, it was the left head that ultimately decided which direction the body moved in.

How do animals with two heads function?

Two-headed animals have a condition called polycephaly, which derives from the Greek word poly, meaning ‘many’ and kephale, meaning ‘head’.

Animals with this condition, also referred to as dicephalic parapagus, have two heads on one torso.

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