Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/1/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Green

Just in time for Halloween! 'Werewolf' cat enchanting fanciers Watch

Image of The cats' sickly appearance is only skin deep. Aside from the patchy hair that makes them notable, the first few generations of Lykoi cats seem rather healthy thus far.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gaining in popularity among cat fanciers and breeders, the "Lykoi" cat is most peculiar looking. Many would instantly assume the patchy critter is inflicted with a sort of mange. The "Lykoi" cat, or "werewolf" cat is in fact carefully raised for its unusual ... continue reading


Antarctic sea ice reaches record levels and why that's bad Watch

Image of Antarctic sea ice continues to expand by about 1.5 percent coverage every year. This trend has continued since 1979 and it thought to be driven by global warming.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Research ships and other vessels traveling through Antarctic waters will have to be very careful this year because Antarctic ice has expanded rapidly, increasing the hazard to ships. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An incredible quantity of sea ice has formed ... continue reading


Terrifying new discovery: Spinosaurus dinosaur was the largest predator ever to walk the Earth Watch

Image of The monster's most distinctive feature was a row of spines that created an enormous sail down the middle of its back. Scientists think it was used for display purposes rather than to trap heat or store fat.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Described as a cross between a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a crocodile and a whale, the Spinosaurus was the largest predator ever to walk the Earth . or swim in its rivers. A recent discovery, the fierce beast is the first dinosaur known to have been adapted to an ... continue reading


VIDEO: Amazing video catches volcanic eruption along with sonic boom Watch

Image of Mount Tavurvur is known as a rather active volcano, one that caused many deaths and covered a nearby town in ash in 1994.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mount Tavurvur, a volcano in Papua New Guinea, erupted late last month on August 29, throwing ash high into the air and causing a shock wave and resultant sonic boom. Phil McNamara caught the rare sight while boating near the New Guinea coast. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Sun spits STORM OF FIRE at Earth, will the northern lights be visible? Watch

Image of The Sun has an 11-year cycle of activity and is presently at its maximum for the current cycle.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A powerful solar storm approaching Earth should not be a direct hit, removing much cause for alarm. On Wednesday, the Sun spewed an X1.6 class solar flare aimed right at Earth, but the bulk of the resulting coronal mass ejection appears on track to miss Earth, passing ... continue reading


Deforestation of the Amazon continues at an alarming rate despite Brazil's best policies Watch

Image of Illegal logging has become an incredibly large part of the deforestation problem.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Brazilian government has released figures which reveal that destruction of the world's largest rainforest accelerated last year by 29%, totally reversing gains made since 2009. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The figures were compiled from satellite data ... continue reading


Is it getting hot in here? Greenhouse gas levels hit historic highs Watch

Image of A new study has revealed that the level of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere have hit record highs, and suggest that the Earth is losing its ability to disperse the heat retaining gases.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Atmospheric temperatures have climbed much faster than scientists have expected and the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high last years according to new research published by the U.N.'s agency on meteorology. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Where are the wildfires? Global warming theory says California should be in flames... Watch

Image of California ought to be in flames, but without late-summer thunderstorms to spark fires, the state simply remains dry.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Washington Times recently reported that a mild fire season in the Western US is disrupting the global warming narrative --a sort of inconvenient truth for climate change proponents. The article is certainly correct, the fire season is well below average, so far, ... continue reading


After decades of conservation, California's blue whale population may be back for good Watch

Image of A new study has shown that California's population of blue whales has recovered near pre-whaling levels.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study released by the University of Washington has revealed that California blue whales have made a remarkable comeback thanks to conservation efforts, and now are nearing 19th-century levels. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This remarkable recovery makes ... continue reading


Humans damaging wild forests at 'alarming rate' Watch

Image of Intact forest landscapes are defined as areas that retain native biodiversity and contain no signs of fragmentation by logging and infrastructure such as roads, mining and oil or gas development.

By Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The world's undisturbed forests are being degraded at an "alarming speed", researchers said on Thursday, as they released new analysis showing an area three times the size of Germany was affected by logging and infrastructure development in the last 13 years. ... 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, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... 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