Rare two-headed baby copperhead found in Virginia

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Scientists have discovered an exceptionally rare two-head copperhead alive in the wild.

According to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, a woman in Northern Virginia spotted a baby copperhead snake slithering in her yard, and upon closer inspection found it had two heads.

Radiographs revealed that each head has its own brain, trachea, and esophagus, but shared a heart and a set of lungs. The left trachea is more developed than the right, while the right esophagus is more developed than the left.

Scientists say it's better for the right head to eat based on the snake's anatomy, but are attempting to feed the left head due to it being more dominant and responsive.

Two-headed serpents are an extremely rare find in the wild as they often have trouble coordinating their movements when escaping from predators, which contribute to their short life spans.

The competing heads also tend to fight over food, though this particular copperhead's mutation is such that its heads don't quarrel, and seem almost oblivious to each other.

Herpetologists estimate the animal is about 3 weeks old, but have yet to figure out its gender. They will continue to monitor the snake, and likely place it in a zoo or educational facility if it survives.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Depiction of two-headed copperhead found in yard
2. Depiction of two-headed snake's anatomy
3. Depiction of left head as dominant
4. Depiction of two-headed snake's uncoordinated movements

VOICEOVER (in English):

"A woman in Northern Virginia spotted a baby copperhead snake slithering in her yard, and upon closer inspection found it had two heads."

"Radiographs revealed that each head has its own brain, trachea, and esophagus, but shared a heart and a set of lungs."

"Scientists say it's better for the right head to eat based on the snake's anatomy, but are attempting to feed the left head due to it being more dominant and responsive."

"Two-headed serpents are a rare find in the wild. They often have trouble coordinating their movements when responding to danger, which contributes to their short life spans."


SOURCES:
Wildlife Center of Virginia, NPR
https://www.wildlifecenter.org/news_events/news/two-headed-copperhead
https://www.npr.org/2018/09/29/652570287/extremely-rare-2-headed-snake-stuns-social-media-charms-scientists