After reading youzi’s Two-Headed Reptile Fossil found in China, this remind me of a Chinese tale —— “Two-headed Snake”.
In ancient China, people believed that double-headed snake was a bad omen. There’s a boy named Sun Shu Ao, always hearing his grandmother telling him that whoever saw the two-headed snake will die definitely.
One day, when this lad was playing outside, he saw a two-headed snake. He smashed the snake till death with a rock. After killing the snake, he buried it and ran home telling his mom that he’s going to die because he saw the two-headed snake. Then the mother asked, “Where’s the two-headed snake?”
Sun Shu Ao replied that he killed that snake because he think of others can no longer see the snake. After hearing what Sun Shu Ao said, his mother consoled him and told him that he was not going to die because he’s so thoughtful and the two-headed snake just a misshapen snake. According to today’s knowledge, this phenomenon is caused by axial bifurcation.
What is axial bifurcation?
Axial bifurcation is also known as polycephaly. Polycephalic animal is animal with more than one head. This phenomenon happens when there is duplication in development because of wounded womb or the zygote of conjoined twins fails to separate completely. This can happen to human too.
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