- On 30th May, Dutch fishermen stumbled upon a two-headed Porpoise in their net
- The fishermen taken aback by the bizarre incident clicked photographs of the creature and threw it back into the North Sea
- A paper has been published this month speculating the rare discovery
Netherlands, June 15, 2017: Several nautical miles from the shores of Netherlands in the North Sea, Porpoises are a common hunt for fishermen. However, what Dutch fishermen caught on 30th May is a rare discovery. The fishermen stumbled upon a two-headed porpoise in their nets. The porpoise had two fully grown heads and a single body.
Parapagus dicephalus, or partial twinning, is rare among cetaceans. In fact, this is only the tenth case known of conjoined twins. The cetaceans also include whales and dolphins.
The fishermen returned the rare porpoise back to the ocean becasue they thought it was illegal to keep them. However, they clicked four photographs of the creature which has further helped publish the speculative paper. For example, scientists are certain that the porpoise was a newborn male.
The paper is published in the online Journal of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam.
The conjoined twins phenomenon has been studied in humans, reptiles and domestic animals, but rarely studies when it comes to wild mammals.
Erwin Kompanje, the curator at Natural History Museum Rotterdam, has studied dolphins, whales and porpoises for over 20 years. He conceptualizes that the rare porpoise died shortly after birth. “The dorsal fins were not yet erect, it had an umbilical opening and the top of its head had hair” said Kompanje.
It is also speculated that conjoined twins are a result of either two embryos fusing together, or a zygote splitting partially.
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