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Rare Two-Headed  Wolf Snake Baffles Wildlife Experts

An extremely rare two-headed snake has confused animal experts after it was found by a wildlife enthusiast in an eastern India forest. The creature was newly born, non- venomous specie and has been identified as a Wolf Snake. A video clip was shared on twitter by Indian Forest Services officer Susanta Nandashows, the non-venomous snake struggling to explore its way across the floor under the control of two fully formed independent heads.

India is home to various venomous and nonvenomous snakes and they frequently adventure into zones occupied by people. The snake was discovered in the Dhenkikot forest range of Keonjhar wildlife asylum in Odisha State by Rakesh Mohalick. The wolf snake is the type of non-venomous snake that is normally found in South Asia and Southeast Asia and takes after the venomous basic krait.

Specialists examining the snake say that it is 14cm long and has two fully formed heads, two gleaming tongues and with four working eyes, but only one body. Both its heads work independently of each other, which means they were spotted fighting for food.  It becomes a survival challenge for such animals in the wild.

Mr Nanda wrote while sharing the video footage of the snake that a rare wolf snake with two fully formed heads was rescued from a house in the Dehnkikote Forrest range of Keonjhar district in Odisha. He added that the rare two-headed snake was later released into the forest. The video footage of the two-headed snake has produced huge intrigue on social media. It has been seen in more than 15,000 times on Twitter, gathering several inquisitive responses and stunned reactions.

The photographer Rakesh Mohalick said that one of the two heads is slightly more developed and both are known to fight over food. Mr Mohalick discovered the snake. He told that the two heads working independently would make it harder for the reptile to survive in the wild. Instances of two-headed snakes, though rare, are not unheard of. Last year, another snake with two fully formed heads was found in the United States. It was named Double Dave by the local people who found it.

The phenomenon of reptiles having more than one head is known as Polycephaly. In most of the cases, polycephalic snakes do not live long. Wolf snakes are non-venomous and are found in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan apart from India. It is a nocturnal animal and is mostly inactive during the day, active at night.  As it is non-venomous, it can defend itself vigorously. It feeds on frogs and lizards. It fine sharp fangs that can cause severe lacerations.

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The condition, dicephaly that causes a snake to be born with two heads, is already very rare. Two-headed snakes are born because of numerous reasons such as incomplete division of embryo, a fusion of two undeveloped embryos, ecological variables, temperature and numerous other reasons. The confusion happens in only one out of each 100,000 snakes in the wild, and in one out of 10,000 snakes born in captivity.

Keen wildlife enthusiast and photographer Rakesh, who researches various species and identified the Wolf snake, said that this means the animal ends up competing with itself. He added that one of the two heads is slightly more developed and both are known to fight over food.

Two-headed creatures are considered in many cultures to be a bad omen, the portent of disaster, and they have frequently appeared in mythology. But although the two-headed snake is uncommon, they do exist in around one in 100,000 live births in the wild. After being identified, the rare snake was later released back into the wild.

Amna Rana

Amna Rana, a writing enthusiast and a microbiologist. Her areas of interest are medical and health care. She writes about diseases, treatments, alternative therapies, lifestyles and the latest news. You can find her on Linkedin Amna Rana.

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