Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/1/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fetus, discovered in 2011, also had twin stomachs, hearts, conjoined by tail

A bull shark fetus, recovered from the Gulf of Mexico by a Florida Keys fisherman in April of 2011 has made international news and has entered the biology textbooks as being the first confirmed case of dicephalia, or having two distinct heads in the species.

Even had it been born alive, the bull shark almost certainly would not have survived long, Wagner said. Animals with such deformities have trouble catching food, and are easy prey for other predators.

Even had it been born alive, the bull shark almost certainly would not have survived long, Wagner said. Animals with such deformities have trouble catching food, and are easy prey for other predators.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/1/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Bull shark, two heads, dicephelia, marine biology, Gulf of Mexico, Florida keys


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Studied at the Michigan State University, the shark was confirmed as a single shark with two heads, rather than conjoined twins.

Professor Michael Wagner, the university's assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife and his team used MRIs to discover that the shark had two distinct heads, hearts and stomachs, with the remainder of the body joining together at the back to form a single tail.

"This is certainly one of those interesting and rarely detected phenomena," Wagner said. "It's good that we have this documented as part of the world's natural history."

The unusual fetus was discovered after a fisherman cut into the uterus of adult shark and found the baby. It was then brought to the marine science department at Florida Keys Community College and then taken to the Michigan University for further analysis.

Similar creatures are believed to have died before being born. "You'll see many more cases of two-headed lizards and snakes," Wagner said. "That's because those organisms are often bred in captivity, and the breeders are more likely to observe the anomalies."

Sounding something from an especially rank SyFy Channel made-for-TV-movie, an Internet search for "two-headed bull shark" last week generated nearly 2.8 million hits, many featuring a startling image taken by Patrick Rice, dean of marine science and technology at Florida Keys Community College.

Shark species like blue sharks and tope sharks have been found with two heads, but the Keys specimen is the first-ever bull shark, according to the study.

Even had it been born alive, the bull shark almost certainly would not have survived long, Wagner said. Animals with such deformities have trouble catching food, and are easy prey for other predators.

While the shark was found in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Wagner cautioned that pollution cannot be confirmed as a cause of the deformity.

"I could see how some people may want to jump to conclusions," he said. "Making that leap is unwarranted. We simply have no evidence to support that cause or any other."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Green

World must address climate change or 'condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair,' Obama says Watch

Image of Obama recently gave final approval to Shell Oil's drilling in the Alaskan Arctic for the first time in 20 years. Environmentalists have called down Obama for hypocrisy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President Barack Obama called upon world to act quickly on climate change or "condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair." The president used unusually strong language at the "GLACIER" conference in Anchorage, ... continue reading


Nearly all seabird species expected to have guts full of plastic by 2050 Watch

Image of A bird with plastic netting wrapped around its neck.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recently published study stated by 2050, nearly every seabird species is predicted to have plastic debris ingested into their systems. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Senior research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research ... continue reading


NASA captures space 'butterfly' with Hubble Space Telescope Watch

Image of  Hubble Scope's new image of Minkowski's Butterfly, a Butterfly Nebula.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A butterfly nebula recently beamed back via NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. NASA reports the phenomenon is the result of good luck, dust, a dying star and a smaller star. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -NASA explained that the occurrence had to do with ... continue reading


OMINOUS DEVELOPMENT: Massive chunk breaks off world's fastest melting glacier Watch

Image of It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise . the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise as the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


First for insect kingdom: Ants able to 'self-medicate' when unwell Watch

Image of It was also learned that the infected ants would also either choose to eat the poison as often as normal food, or only a quarter of the time, showing that the ants were

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The common ant is typically thought of as being an example of the "hive mind" - acting in concert with their respective colonies, without free will. Researchers have now learned that ants are able to feel when they are sick or unwell - and self-medicate themselves. LOS ... continue reading


WORLD-WIDE POWER OUTAGE: Is a massive solar flare in our near future? Watch

Image of [Photo by: Solar Flare/BENSOW]

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world is highly dependent on electricity, even more so now than ever before. A massive solar storm can leave the Earth in bad shape and cause a global-scale of darkness. We must always be ready for such an event to prevent further panic and havoc. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


World's oldest 'first flower' discovered in Spain's mountainous regions Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ancient plant fossil, of what could be claimed as the world's oldest flowering plant, was unearthed in Spain. According to a new study in the online journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the plant, which is approximately 125 million to 130 ... continue reading


Biggest oarfish EVER: Latest specimen washed ashore on Catalina Island was at least 24 feet long Watch

Image of Oarfish washed up onshore on California's coasts in recent years are believed to have been sick, disoriented because of a storm or even responding to underwater seismic activity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oarfish, deep-sea denizens, have been washing up on the resort island of Catalina Island with surprising frequency. Oarfish washed up there June of 2013 - and now, a dead oarfish full of krill washed up there again on Monday. Experts say the more recent ... continue reading


Three African nations will be among the 10 most densely populated in 2050, report says Watch

Image of Many African countries will be rising in the ranks over the next 30 years due to life-extending medical advances. The study finds that most national populations will double in 40 countries, chiefly African.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Washington-based Population Reference Bureau has recently published a projected study of what the most populous nations in the world will be in the year 2050. Because of high fertility rates and improved life expectancy, three African nations - Nigeria, ... continue reading


NASA tests 'Ferrari of rocket engines' set to launch astronauts to Mars Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The RS-25, for a trip to Mars, has been tested by NASA. According to reports, the engine was more powerful than the top technology we currently use in automobile and jet industries. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - CNET.com reported that the RS-25 engine is ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:1-8
1 From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter