Two-headed porpoise discovered in sea off Holland

It was caught in a trawler net by mistake

Updated: 

Dutch fishermen have discovered the world's first ever two-headed porpoise in the waters off the coast of Holland.

The bizarre creature was captured in a trawler net by mistake and was already dead when it was pulled aboard.

See also: Pictures: Two-headed cow born in Morocco

See also: Two-headed snake found in Croatia

After taking a few pictures of it, the fishermen apparently threw it back into the sea because they thought they may get in trouble with fishing authorities.

However, experts are now studying the photos with huge interest because it appears to be the first ever case of conjoined twin porpoises ever discovered.

Credits: Henk Tanis

Credits: Henk Tanis

Twinning isn't unheard of in marine life but it's rare that such a specimen ever finds its way into human hands. According to experts at the University of Rotterdam, this porpoise probably died shortly after it was born.

There are hairs on the upper lip, which should have fallen out after it was born - indicating it died very young.

Twins in general are very rare in porpoises, because of the size of the mother's body.

Credits: Henk Tanis

Credits: Getty

The porpoise was caught in a trawler net

"Normal twins are extremely rare in cetaceans," Erwin Kompanje, of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, told New Scientist.

"There is simply not enough room in the body of the female to give room to more than one fetus."

World's strangest animals

World's strangest animals


provided by