By: Phil | 09-10-2017 | News
Photo credit: Mark M. Young

Poly-cephalic Rattlesnake Found in Arkansas

Nope, it’s not a carnival gaffe this time. They say two heads are better than one, but when each head is a venomous, hissing rattler, maybe <i>no</i> heads would be better.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You see it? Yep, two headed snake. Thanks to Mark Young for this picture. They call him &quot;Deuce&quot; <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Nick Genty (@KATVNICK) <a href="">September 8, 2017</a></blockquote>

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This rarity of nature is borne of a process similar to the biological process that results in identical twins. A two-headed snake can be especially competitive as far as seeking food.

Polycephaly is something that has captivated humans since antiquity. <a href="">According to Ask Gizmodo</a>:

<blockquote>Humans have been fascinated by polycephalic (“many headed”) animals for at least thousands of years, suggesting that examples of such animals may have been known to humanity since antiquity. Two-headed animals are common in Greek and Roman mythology, where they were typically depicted as being fearsome and demonic, and were associated with the Underworld. In Hercules’ “twelve labours”, he is said to have killed the Lernean Hydra, a serpent with many heads, and to have captured Cerberus, a multi-headed dog who guarded the gates of the Underworld.</blockquote>

<a href="">According to Channel 7 News</a>, the 2-headed rattlesnake was found and captured alive and is to be donated to the Arkansas Game and Fish Nature center in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The snake is currently being nursed back to health.

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<a href=""> Rodney Kelso, a Woodruff Electric employee discovered the snake</a> as it was "sunning itself" alongside two more snakes outside of a home off of Arkansas Highway 284. Kelso captured the snake and delivered it to Forrest L. Wood Crowley's Ridge Nature Center.

The man, identified by Arkansas Online as Woodruff Electric employee Rodney Kelso, said he found the snake “sunning itself” outside a home. The 11-inch timber rattlesnake was found off Arkansas Highway 284 with two other snakes that appeared normal looking, KFSM reported. "It does happen from time to time in nature," Cody Walker, education program specialist at the Jonesboro nature center told Arkansas Online. At least one reason for the rarity of two-headed snakes, according to Walker, is the fact that they generally die of complications in nature.

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