The mystery behind flying snakes has been solved by a team of researchers from Virginia Tech.
Florida resident Kay Rogers says her cat brings in “presents” all the time from the outdoors.
The cat’s latest find was unlike any other: A rare two-headed snake.
“This day, my daughter sent me a message: ‘Mom, she brought in a snake and it has two heads,'” Rogers told WFTS Tampa Bay. “I think this tops it, but she’s an adventurous cat, for sure.”
Rogers and her daughter put the snake in a plastic container while reptile specialists guided Rogers on how to take care of it.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday confirmed it is now monitoring the southern black racer.
Two-headed snakes are the product of an uncommon “phenomenon” called bicephaly, which happens when two monozygotic twins fail to separate during embryo development and leave the heads conjoined, FWC said.
“Two-headed snakes are unlikely to survive in the wild as the two brains make different decisions that inhibit the ability to feed or escape from predators,” the agency wrote on Facebook.
The two heads flick their tongues and react to movement in different directions, FWC said.
Flying snakes undulate in midair while gliding from trees: Virginia Tech researchers used motion-capture cameras to find out why.
According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, southern black racers are popular in Florida. They are nonvenomous but will bite to defend themselves. The reptiles are “opportunistic predators whose diet is as varied as their choice of habitat,” according to the museum’s website.
In Florida, southern black racers usually eat frogs, lizards and small snakes.
Rogers told the TV station the snake was “very uncoordinated” when she tried to feed it, with one head going toward the food while the other pulled in the opposite direction.
But she still enjoyed housing the snake.
“He was really an easy pet. I really just wanted to kind of see him thrive and have people that would take care of him and give him the best chance. I know captivity was the best hope for him,” she told the station.
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