glasydorlan's picture

Two headed slowworm

Observed: 29th August 2010 By: glasydorlanglasydorlan’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptiles
two headed slowworm
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

LordMuzzy's picture

Rare mutation (A Victorian Gents Holy Grail!)

Wow! What an awesome find, any more info?

glasydorlan's picture

Two Head Slow Worm

I found the slow-worm whilst out walking near to Dunraven Bay on the Vale of Glamorgan coast (if you've not been there you should - its brilliant !). It was lying in the middle of the path to the beach it was only when I went to move it out of harms way that I realised it had two heads - I guess it could have been there for a while with one head saying 'Go left' and the other 'Go right'. As far as I could tell it was perfectly healthy and I look forward to finding it again next summer !

Blewit Boy's picture

Poor thing........

Poor thing. I'm surprised it's survived this long.

chris

George W's picture

A great example of what makes iSpot great

Fascinating photo - especially when using the facility provided to enlarge the photo. This entry is an example of why I find iSpot useful. Whatever level of experience we may have we can share stuff with others who share our interest.

anonymous spotter's picture

Not exactly common -

but reptiles with two heads are occasionally reported. They seem, for the most part, to be capable of surviving quite well. This is obviously a very young animal (from the size and time of year, probably only a few days or weeks old).
Really interesting observation!

jccurd's picture

Wow!

Fascinating stuff and cute in a slightly grotesque kind of way. Utterly intriguing, for me, anyway. Thanks for the post.

John.

lordro's picture

Two-headed reptiles.

Very interesting find. Are such things an invidual with an 'extra' group of organs-in this case the head and its contents-or incompletely separated twins; i.e. an extreme example of conjoined twins?

anonymous spotter's picture

Two -headed reptiles

Technically known as "axial bifurcation", it has been found in the fossil record, and (some people are downright odd!) examples are sometimes sold through the exotic pet trade.
It is thought to result from some sort of damage to the embryo. Since reptiles depend on external heat, the development of the egg is subject to changing rates as the temperature rises and falls. This presumably increases the risk of something in the complicated process going awry, It is also known to be what determines the sex in at least some cases, rather than specific sex chromosomes.