Never before published photos of two-headed blue shark surface!

April 12, 2013

Former longline fisherman took photos in 2008, shares with NatGeo News

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April 11, 2013 by

When news and photos of a two-headed bull shark surfaced last month, a former commercial fisherman contacted National Geographic News and submitted photos he took of a two-headed blue shark that had never been published before.

Unlike the recent two-headed bull shark, the two heads on this blue shark fetus are separated completely in a freak of nature.

Christopher Johnston, currently a fishing guide for royals in Dubai, was a longline fisherman in the Indian Ocean somewhere between 200 and 900 miles off West Australia when a pregnant blue shark was hauled in on Sept. 27, 2008.

“Normally when we cut open a pregnant blue shark there could be almost a hundred pups in there,” Johnston told National Geographic News. “We toss them in the water and they usually swim off fine…

“I cut open quite a few and that was the only strange one I ever saw.”

More from National Geographic News:

As we previously reported, there have been only about a half dozen reported cases of two-headed sharks. The phenomenon arises through conjoined development of twins, the same process that produces what used to be called Siamese twins in people…

Johnston explained that the reason the fishermen cut open pregnant sharks was because they were only allowed to keep 20 blue sharks on a boat at a time, apparently including fetal ones. He indicated that the fins had to remain on the bodies, to prevent the finning that is driving down shark numbers around the globe. “We used all parts of the sharks we caught,” Johnston added.

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Had the two-headed shark been born, it would not have survived since it wouldn’t be able to swim, making it live bait.

“I didn’t think it was that special but apparently it is,” Johnston told National Geographic. “It looked like it had one dorsal fin and one umbilical cord. It had teeth like normal pups.”

Along with two very distinct heads.

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Story courtesy of Grind TV http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/photos-of-two-headed-blue-shark-published-for-first-time/

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