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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Green

You'll never believe what these scientists found in space! Watch

Image of An artists rendering of the 300 light year long gas bubble that encloses our solar system.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A study published last month appears to suggest that our entire solar system is enclosed within a giant gas bubble. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The entire bubble is about 300 light years long (roughly 1,764,000,000,000,000 miles) and its walls are made of gas ... continue reading


UNITED NATIONS: Global warming could be irreversible Watch

Image of Ocean acidification, which comes from the added carbon absorbed by oceans, will also harm marine life, the report says.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

International experts say that for most intents and purposes, it's too late - global warming is real and could very well be irreversible. A draft of a new international science report released by the United Nations outlines the options that mankind has left. ... continue reading


Satellite confirms fears, ice sheets are melting fast Watch

Image of An artist's impression of Cryosat 2. The ESA mission has confirmed that massive ice sheets are melting fast.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The European environmental satellite Cryosat 2, has independently confirmed what scientists have been saying for some time - the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland are melting. The blame for this melting is laid squarely on global warming and correlates with global ... continue reading


Safe, sane ways to get rid of pests - without poison Watch

Image of First off, the adage of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Those who keep pets face a special challenge: with pet food being readily available at all times, many homes with pets sometimes attracts mice and rats as well. These unwanted "pets," or more correctly pests, are usually done away with poisons - that frequently ... continue reading


NEANDERTHALS LIVED WITH MODERN MAN: Researchers say there is new evidence they interbred Watch

Image of It was a given scientific belief that Neanderthals were inferior in intelligence to modern humans, which led to their demise. New evidence has proven that they cooperated with each other, took care of the sick and elderly, carried out elaborate burial rituals and used symbolic language and art to express ideas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was previously believed that Neanderthals vanished instantaneously and didn't interact what would later become known as Modern Man. However, new evidence shows the wider population overlapped with present-day humans across Europe for up to 5,400 years before ... continue reading


ICE CAPS MELTING: Antarctica, Greenland losing ice mass rapidly Watch

Image of This data was the first to use information from the European Space Agency's CryoSat platform. The satellite was launched in 2010 with a sophisticated radar instrument specifically designed to measure the shape of the polar ice sheets.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At times, it appears that the entire world will be submerged underwater in the space of a few years. Greenland is losing about 375 cubic kilometers of ice annually. Coupled with the discharges coming from Antarctica, Earth's two big ice sheets are now dumping ... continue reading


DISCOVERY SUGGESTS LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS: Ecosystems found in Arctic lakes surprises researchers Watch

Image of It came as a most welcome surprise, as scientists were not on a life-hunting expeditions. The indirect sampling process later raised questions about those results.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Arctic regions of our Earth, where there is very little marine or animal life seem at first incapable of sustaining organisms. However - recent discoveries at both Lake Vostok and Lake Whillans have uncovered healthy ecosystems of microbial life. According ... continue reading


Glacial retreat may halt Chinese dam projects Watch

Image of Tibetan glaciers supply hundreds of millions of people with water, and feed into rivers that run through China, India and much of Southeast Asia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Tibetan plateau has become warmer over the past 50 years than at any stage in the last millennia, a Chinese newspaper reported. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This report, published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, ... continue reading


Humans are doing WHAT? Watch

Image of A glacier in the Alps, one of the largest in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study released on August 14 reports that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the dominant cause of glacial melting in the Alps and Andes mountains. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study, published in the journal Science, reveals that human emissions ... continue reading


NEW SPECIES: 'Graveyard' reveals 47 skeletons of new species of pterosaur Watch

Image of What separates the latest find from others of their species is that the pterosaur Caiuajara dobruskii had a large bony crest on the top of its head that changed from being small when it was young, to large and steep in adults.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A colony of previously unknown flying reptiles that lived around a desert lake in Brazil around 100 million years ago have been uncovered by scientists. The fossilized remains of at least 47 pterosaurs with wingspans ranging from two to eight feet, were ... 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 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 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