Missouri Family Keeps Two-Headed Snake Found On Their Property (Video)

| by Reve Fisher
Two-Headed Snake.Two-Headed Snake.

A family in Kansas City, Missouri, says they moved to the country so their children could learn more about the wonders of nature.

"That's why we moved out here, that's one of the reasons why we moved out here," Azure Simpson told Fox 4 News.

The family dog had already been sprayed twice by skunks when the Simpsons' 3-year-old child found two of something as well: a snake with two heads (video below).

Simpson, mother of three and self-proclaimed animal lover, decided to let the family keep the creature.

"I figured we'd find a home for it, so we found a fish tank," she said.

Researchers say that two-headed snakes don't live long in the wild, so the family may be doing the animal a favor.

The Simpsons have enjoyed the newfound pet, saying it has become a constant source of entertainment and wonder.

"This is fun -- the most fun, I would say, by far, yet," Simpson said.

"Two-headed snakes are rare, but they shouldn't be looked at as freaks," herpetologist Gordon Burghardt told National Geographic.

Snakes and turtles are more likely to have two heads than other animals. Other species with reported two-headed occurrences include fish, cattle, sheep, pigs, cats and dogs.

Polycephaly is the condition of having more than one head. Bicephalic or tricephalic  — two- and three-headed, respectively — animals are formed by the same process as conjoined human twins, from the fusion of monozygotic twin embryos.

Each head of a polycephalic animal has its own brain. As they share control of their organs and limbs, polycephalic animals often move in a disoriented manner. Snake heads may try to attack and swallow each other.

Most two-headed snakes live for only a few months, although some have been reported to live full lives and even reproduce with one-headed offspring. A two-headed black rat snake with separate throats and stomachs managed to survive for 20 years, reports National Geographic.

Sources: Fox 4 News, National Geographic, The Tech Museum of Innovation / Photo credit: CNN