Nature & Environment
Mystery surrounds rise of two-headed sharks
By T.K. Randall
November 4, 2016 · 24 comments
As if one head wasn't already enough. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Hermanus Backpackers
Scientists have reported an unexplained rise in the number of sharks being found with two heads.
The peculiar mutation, which has been occurring across a multitude of shark species, has been reported increasingly frequently lately and experts are struggling to explain exactly why this is.
One recent example was discovered by Professor Valentin Sans Coma from the University of Malaga who had been studying catfish shark embryos when he found one with two heads.
The specimen, which was one of 800 embryos grown in a lab for study, had never been exposed to any chemicals, radiation or other pollutants that could explain its perplexing mutation.
Out at sea, marine scientist Nicolas Ehemann, who had studied a two headed smalleye smooth-hound shark and a two-headed blue shark, believes that the rise in mutant sharks is due to overfishing which has massively reduced the fish gene pool in recent years.
Finding more of these abnormal specimens to study however is proving very difficult as they are challenging to locate and even when they are caught they don't tend to live very long.
"I would like to study these things, but it's not like you throw out a net and you catch two-headed sharks every so often," said Ehemann. "It's random."
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