Naked Science Forum

On the Lighter Side => That CAN'T be true! => Topic started by: wilson vincent martis on 11/10/2010 18:30:03

Title: Do two-headed snakes exist?
Post by: wilson vincent martis on 11/10/2010 18:30:03
wilson vincent martis  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
hello chris,

My name is Wilson Martis and i am from india,sir i really appreciate your works in the naked scientists.

Sir ther's one thing i wanted to know. In india, there's a heavy demand of two headed snake's (head's are at opposite end's).

Sir do you have any idea why thers so much of demand of such snake's.                       

What do you think?
Title: Do two-headed snakes exist?
Post by: LeeE on 11/10/2010 23:23:07
Two-headed snakes are quite common, but not with the heads at opposite ends.
Title: Do two-headed snakes exist?
Post by: RD on 11/10/2010 23:48:28
Quote
Automimicry or intraspecific mimicry occurs within a single species, one case being where one part of an organism's body resembles another part. Examples include snakes in which the tail resembles the head
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimicry#Automimicry
Title: Do two-headed snakes exist?
Post by: RD on 12/10/2010 11:04:58
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.saltairealpacas.com%2Fimages%2Fpushmepullyou.jpg&hash=108926ff475eadcbde8b120e52abca61) (http://www.saltairealpacas.com/Calendar.html)

I almost forgot about the the pushmi-pullyu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pushmi-pullyu#The_Pushmi-pullyu)  [:)]
Title: Do two-headed snakes exist?
Post by: Don_1 on 12/10/2010 15:12:28
Incidents of two headed snakes and other reptiles crop up from time to time.

(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.japanprobe.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Ftwo-headed-snake.jpg&hash=ea8081530cbec5119f28158d0ea04a4d)(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsimg.bbc.co.uk%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2F40518000%2Fjpg%2F_40518409_tortoise203_sun.jpg&hash=816027c1bd6f2aa4ceab897466e4ce07)

These are all incidents where the two heads are at the same end of the body. I am unaware of any case of a snake having a head at either end of its body, but there are snakes in which this appears to be the case.

The Yellow-lipped Sea Krait (Laticauda Colubrine) has the appearance of a head at either end. Any predator mistakenly attacking the wrong end of this highly venomous snake will pay dearly.

The Indian Sand Boa Constrictor (Eryx Johnii) also appears to have a head at either end and when under threat may raise both it's head and tail to confuse the attacker.
Title: Do two-headed snakes exist?
Post by: Bored chemist on 12/10/2010 20:44:14
One of the questions asked was why is there a demand for snakes with a head at each end.
I think part of the answer is that unusual things are sought after just because they are rare.
Another worrying possibility is that someone is claiming that these snakes have some medicinal value.
Well, since they don't really exists, anyone who says they cure disease must be mistaken or lying. I'd rather not take medical advice from anyon who is prone to mistakes or dishonesty.

Having said that there are "worm lizards" that deliberately look like they have two tails.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphisbaenia

Predators don't know which end to attack.
They are also the origin of the obscure word "amphisbenic" meaning the same at both ends.