Animals

Weird! Rare two-headed snake found lurking in the depths of a New Jersey forest

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A rare two-headed snake has been discovered in a New Jersey forest, resembling a creature from a science fiction movie.

The newborn Siamese timber rattlesnake was found in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens last month by two members of the Herpetological Associates of Burlington County and would have likely died if discovered any later.

The company’s CEO, Bob Zappalorti, says the snake has two fully formed heads, brains, four eyes and two forked tongues – with each head acting independently of the other.

The newborn Siamese timber rattlesnake was found in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens last month by two members of the Herpetological Associates of Burlington County

The newborn Siamese timber rattlesnake was found in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens last month by two members of the Herpetological Associates of Burlington County

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The snake has two fully formed heads, brains, four eyes and two forked tongues – with each head acting independently of the other

The snake has two fully formed heads, brains, four eyes and two forked tongues – with each head acting independently of the other

‘It probably wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild,’ Zappalorti told NJ.com. ‘As it was crawling, there’s a chance it could have gotten snagged on something, leaving it open to be eaten by predators.’

Two employees at the organization, which specializes in in the study of endangered and threatened reptiles, spotted the critter in a nest where a timber rattlesnake was giving birth on August 25.

They’ve affectionately nicknamed the serpent Double Dave.

It’s considered very rare for a two-headed snake to be born, Zappalorti said, though the phenomena has been known to occur in a number of serpent species.

It’s considered very rare for a two-headed snake to be born, Zappalorti said, though the phenomena has been known to occur in a number of serpent species.

‘It probably wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild,’ Bob Zappalorti (above) said. ‘As it was crawling, there’s a chance it could have gotten snagged on something, leaving it open to be eaten by predators’

‘It probably wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild,’ Bob Zappalorti (above) said. ‘As it was crawling, there’s a chance it could have gotten snagged on something, leaving it open to be eaten by predators’

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It's the first two headed snake ever to be found in New Jersey (Pine Barrens forest pictured above)
It’s the first two headed snake ever to be found in New Jersey (Pine Barrens forest pictured above)
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‘It’s the only one ever found in New Jersey,’ Zappalorti said. ‘In 2009, in Alabama, a two-headed timber rattlesnake was found.’

It’s considered very rare for a two-headed snake to be born, Zappalorti said, though the phenomena has been known to occur in a number of serpent species.

‘It probably was meant to be a twin and it mutated and the female gave birth to this abnormal baby,’ he said.

The snake will now remain under the care of Herpetological Associates. Two-headed snakes have been reported to live up to 20 years in captivity. 

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