Rare two-headed snake discovered in Virginia

A rare discovery was made in northern Virginia this month when a two-headed baby copperhead slithered in the yard of a resident.

Posted: Sep 24, 2018 8:38 PM
Updated: Sep 24, 2018 8:52 PM

A rare discovery was made in northern Virginia this month when a two-headed baby copperhead slithered in the yard of a resident.

The unnamed person who found the snake contacted the Virginia Herpetological Society for identification and a state herpetologist picked it up to study.

"Wild bicephalic snakes are exceptionally rare, because they just don't live that long," J.D. Kleopfer of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries posted on Facebook on Thursday. "Too many challenges living day to day with two heads."

The baby Eastern Copperhead was taken to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro for radiographs so officials could determine how both the heads functioned with the body.

"It appears as though the left head is more dominant -- it's generally more active and responsive to stimulus," the Wildlife Center of Virginia said in a statement Friday.

"Radiographs revealed that the two-headed snake has two tracheas (the left one is more developed), two esophaguses (the right one is more developed), and the two heads share one heart and one set of lungs. Based on the anatomy, it would be better for the right head to eat, but it may be a challenge since the left head appears more dominant."

The baby copperhead is not available for public viewing. Professionals are caring for it, and if the snake survives, it will be donated to a zoo for an educational exhibit.

Article Comments

Mason City
Scattered Clouds
wxIcon
Hi: 9° Lo: 0°
Feels Like: -10°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
wxIcon
Hi: 4° Lo: -5°
Feels Like: -8°
Austin
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 9° Lo: -4°
Feels Like: -7°
Charles City
Few Clouds
wxIcon
Hi: 10° Lo: 3°
Feels Like: -11°
Rochester
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 6° Lo: -6°
Feels Like: -14°
Coldest air of the season has arrived
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Clear Lake set to form alternative school on campus

Image

Authorities rescue man from Winnebago River

Image

Man taken to ambulance after being rescued

Image

Salvation Army opens it's doors for Rochester's homeless

Image

Snow storm causes several crashes in Minnesota

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Tuesday

Image

Iowa DOT talks how 511 gets updated

Image

Ping Pong Prodigy

Image

Elton Hills Drive safety session

Image

Williams shines as Dover-Eyota defeats Byron

Community Events