A 39-year old Turkish gym teacher, Tugrul Metin, was surprised to see a two-headed dolphin wash ashore on a beach in western Turkey. He was on a vacation in the coastal town of Dikili in Turkey. Metin didn’t know how to react. He was stunned. Then he called the local police, which took the dolphin to a science laboratory for further investigation.
The dead dolphin was a just 12-month old calf
Metin told the Daily Mail that he first noticed the dead marine creature in the sea and watched it as it washed on to the beach. According to the Turkish Times, the dolphin was 3.2-feet in length and was believed to be a 12 months old calf. It had two mouths, two sets of eyes, and two blowholes, all branching from a single normal body .
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Turkish media reports said that marine biologists at the Akdeniz University will examine it. However, Mehmet Gokoglu, a marine biologist at Akdeniz told the Associated Press that his university was unaware of the whereabouts of the dead dolphin photographed on a beach in Dikili. Based on the photos, Gokoglu said the mammal seems to be conjoined dolphins.
Turkish university wants to put the dolphin in a museum
Mehmet Gokoglu said the university would like to display the two-headed dolphin in a museum if they can locate it. The calf was a rare example of polycephaly (having two or more heads). In the past, there have been multiple examples of two-headed or multi-headed animals such as pigs, cats and turtles. Polycephaly arises from the same process as conjoined twins.
Last year, a two-headed calf was born in Vermont. Both heads of the animal were fully developed, allowing it to eat through either mouth. In 2011, a fisherman had caught a two-headed bull shark, which soon became a subject of scientific study. Researchers confirmed in 2013 that the shark was an example of “two headedness” rather than conjoined twins.