VIRAL: 2-headed Tampa alligator

VIRAL: 2-headed Tampa alligator (Image 1)

An image of a 2-headed alligator is creating a buzz on the web and is raising eyebrows at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The photo that’s causing the stir is from the Tumbler blog of Tampa artist Justin Alan Arnold. 

It shows an alligator that appears to have two heads.

Below the photo is the caption:

“Two-headed alligator spotted in Tampa, Florida along the Hillsborough River in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, this alligator has been reported by several people. They explained that failed separation of monozygotic twins is common in reptiles and amphibians but they rarely reach this juvenile state.”

After seeing the photo, called FWC Spokesperson Gary Morse, who said there is the possibility that a 2-headed alligator can exist, but he, nor any FWC staff members have ever seen one.

Morse said that he spoke with FWC staff in Tallahassee and local biologists about the photo.

“We have serious questions about the validity of the situation,” Morse said, referring to the photo on Arnold’s Tumbler blog.

“By looking at a photograph, you can’t really tell much,” he added.

Animals that are born with two heads are called “bicephalic”. The phenomenon occurs when twins don’t separate while developing. It occurs mainly with snakes and turtles, the San Antonio Zoo told CNN in a report.

If you ever have questions about wildlife in Florida, check out the “Ask FWC” section of the FWC website.

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