Two-headed Conjoined Porpoises Hauled Up from the Deep

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By Tia Ghose

Two-headed conjoined porpoises were recently hauled up by a fishing boat in the North Sea, not far off the coast of the Netherlands.

The bizarre-looking creatures were already dead, and the fishermen, who feared trouble from the authorities, took photos and then tossed the duo back overboard.

It’s not clear exactly why the porpoises died, but the double-headed creatures likely could not swim, said Erwin Kompanje, a researcher at the Natural History Museum and the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who recently wrote up the case in the June 7 issue of the journal Deinsea. Another cause may have been their fused hearts, which may not have worked adequately, Kompanje said.

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