Life in Rural Kyrgyzstan
World|science|March 19, 2018 / 01:20 PM
Two-headed snake has extremely rare double hearts

AKIPRESS.COM - The two-week-old snake was born with two distinct heads. The heads emerge from one shared body, extending just a few centimeters from the fork in its neck. Each head lucidly examines their (or its) environment, flicking two distinct tongues through the air.

The snake (or snakes) was brought to celebrity vet Dr. K, short for Dr. Susan Kelleher, who owns an exotic animal care practice in southern Florida. The vet, and the bizarre cases she treats, are the subject of the National Geographic Wild TV show Dr. K., National Geographic reported.

It was Dr. T (Lauren Thielen), another vet at the practice, who x-rayed the two-headed snake. That process revealed an even rarer twist in its anatomy. Unlike other two-headed animals that tend to share internal organs, the snake appears to have two hearts.

"I was shocked it has two hearts," says Thielen. "But it was really cool to understand that the Siamese twin snake was really two snakes in one outer skin."

Using a non-invasive machine called a doppler ultrasound, the vets were also able to listen to the snake's heartbeats and confirm that there were two hearts pumping blood inside the same body. With the doppler ultrasound, they were also able to track the flow of blood.

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