EAST LANSING (WWJ) – Scientists at Michigan State University have confirmed the discovery of the world’s first-ever two-headed bull shark.

Michael Wagner, MSU assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife, said he and his colleagues at Florida Keys Community College determined that it is a single animal, rather than conjoined twins.

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(credit: Michigan State University)

(credit: Michigan State University)

It has two heads, two hearts and two stomachs, and is joined at the back to form a single tail. The shark was found in the uterus of an adult bull shark in the Gulf of Mexico in April of 2011.

“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, but we’d certainly have to find many more before we could draw any conclusions about what caused this.”

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The shark died shortly thereafter and had little, if any, chance to survive in the wild, according to Wagner.

“You’ll see many more cases of two-headed lizards and snakes,” he said. “That’s because those organisms are often bred in captivity, and the breeders are more likely to observe the anomalies.”

The research was published in the Journal of Fish Biology.

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