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Rare Two-Headed Porpoise Caught by Dutch Fishermen

Dutch fishermen caught a two headed porpoise in the North Sea

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Rare Conjoined Twins Porpoise
Dutch fishermen stumbled upon a rare two-headed porpoise. Twitter
  • 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.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Newly Discovered Super-Earth Exoplanet May Sustain Primitive Life

Geothermal heating could support 'life zones' under its surface, akin to subsurface lakes found in Antarctica," said Edward Guinan, Astrophysicist at the varsity. 

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NASA
NASA recently announced the discovery of the first known system of seven Earth-sized exoplanets around a single star. VOA

The recently discovered cold super-Earth exoplanet orbiting around the red dwarf Barnard — the second closest star system to Earth — has the potential to harbour primitive life, says a study.

Barnard b (or GJ 699 b) is a super-Earth with a minimum of 3.2 Earth masses. It orbits its red star every 233 days near the snow-line, a distance where water freezes.

Although likely cold (-170 degrees centigrade), it could still have the potential to harbour primitive life if it has a large, hot iron or nickel core and enhanced geothermal activity, said researchers from the Villanova University in the US.

“Geothermal heating could support ‘life zones’ under its surface, akin to subsurface lakes found in Antarctica,” said Edward Guinan, Astrophysicist at the varsity.

Earth
Newly discovered Super-Earth Exoplanet May Sustain Primitive Life

“We note that the surface temperature on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is similar to Barnard b but because of tidal heating, Europa probably has liquid oceans under its icy surface,” Guinan added.

The results were announced at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomy Society (AAS) in Seattle.

Although very faint, it may be possible for Barnard b to be imaged by future very large telescopes, according to Guinan.

“Such observations will shed light on the nature of the planet’s atmosphere, surface, and potential habitability,” he said.

The most significant aspect of the discovery of Barnard’s star b is that the two nearest star systems to the Sun are now known to host planets.

Also Read- NASA Discovers Third New Planet

“This supports previous studies based on Kepler Mission data, inferring that planets can be very common throughout the galaxy, even numbering in the tens of billions,” said co-author Scott Engle from the varsity.

“Also, Barnard’s Star is about twice as old as the Sun — about nine billion years old compared to 4.6 billion years for the Sun. The universe has been producing Earth-size planets far longer than we, or even the Sun itself, have existed.” (IANS)