Two-headed porpoise found in fisherman’s net

by: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Updated:


Water drips down on a fisherman as he pulls in a net on a fishing boat.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

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SOUTHERN NORTH SEA – A first for marine biologists has been found off the coast of the Netherlands.

Fishermen pulled out the carcass of harbour porpoises that were born conjoined, New Scientist reported.

The animal had two fully grown heads and one body, and it is extremely rare to find such a specimen.

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It is the 10th known case of conjoined twins in the cetaceans group. The group includes whales and dolphins.

 

The fishermen who pulled the animal from the water in May took photos of the remains before tossing them back into the water, thinking that it was illegal to keep the carcass, according to the Online Journal of the Natural History Museum, Rotterdam.

By looking at the photos, experts said that the animal died just after birth. They made the determination saying that its tail had not stiffened and it had a flat dorsal fin. It also had hairs on the upper lip that normally fall out just after birth, New Scientist reported.

Harbour porpoises are the smallest cetaceans in North West Europe, according to the journal.

 


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