From the original eBay post:
“This auction is for a preserved two-headed (dicephalic) bull shark fetus (Carcharhinus leucas). This is first and only known dicephalic bull shark in the entire world! This is not a live animal – It is a preserved specimen.
The two-headed shark fetus discovered in Florida Keys waters is not a conjoined twin but a mutant two-headed shark. The condition is called axial bifurcation, a deformity that results from the embryo beginning to split into two separate organisms, or twins, but doing so incompletely. The condition is also called dicephaly, or two heads, said Michael Wagner, an author of the report and researcher at Michigan State University. The fetus was inside a bull shark caught off the Keys in April 2011.The shark is the subject of a report in the Journal of Fish Biology that was co-authored by Florida Keys Community College Dean of Marine Science and Technology Patrick Rice. The specimen was purchased from local fisherman by Dr. Rice.
The publication is found here: CLICK HERE (First record of dicephalia in a bull shark Carcharhinus leucas (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae) foetus from the Gulf of Mexico, U.S.A.)
The report and accompanying photo have gone viral on the Internet, with over 2.8 million hits in first week since the scientific publication was released.
Serious bidders may contact us to schedule an inspection at our convenience. The specimen is located in the Florida Keys at this time. The scientists involved with this discovery and the scientific publication are here to answer your serious questions about the specimen. Proceeds from this auction will be used for continuing shark conservation work and shark research.
Shipping will be free to the winner. We will ship it anywhere UPS, Fedex, USPS, or DHL can take it, so international bidders are welcome. Locals: The specimen may be paid for and picked up from Key West, Florida (winner to contact us for details). We must wait until funds have posted and cleared. We reserve right to end this auction early.
VIA – KEY NEWS
The recent fame of a two-headed dead shark caught off the Florida Keys has dramatically increased the sea creature’s value. It sold for $10,600 on Thursday.
The shark’s owner, Florida Keys Community College Dean of Marine Sciences Patrick Rice, put the oddity up for sale, after stories and photos of the shark pup went viral on the Internet. Rice had been approached by Ripley’s Believe It or Not and other freak show-type businesses.
“There was a lot of interest in it. That’s what prompted me to sell it,” Rice said.
Rice placed the shark on the bidding and shopping website eBay last week. The bidding ended Thursday when the shark was purchased by John Strong for $10,600.
Strong was born into a circus family, according to his website. He performed magic and juggling in Big John Strong’s Circus, a small circus that traveled the West Coast in the 1960s and 1970s. He started collecting oddities at 11. He managed the last circus sideshow associated with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey in 1978 for two years fresh out of high school. He is also the youngest person ever to perform a 1-finger handstand. He has swallowed swords and fire for nearly 30 years, most notably in the movie “Batman Returns,” the website states.
Strong owned a similar specimen years ago, but it was stolen. He is coming to South Florida soon for a show and will travel to the Florida Keys to pick up the shark, which has been preserved in a glass jar.
Rice plans to put the profits toward his business, Shark Defense Technologies. The business is researching how to convert discarded shark parts into a shark-repellent bait treatment that would be used on longline fishing vessels. The research is intended to reduce the incidental take of sharks mainly by commercial longline fishermen targeting swordfish and tuna, Rice said.
“It was a rare oddity, but I thought I could do more good by selling it and using the money for research,” Rice said.
It gained national attention earlier this month after a study stated the shark was not a conjoined twin, but a mutant two-headed shark.
It suffered from a condition called axial bifurcation, a deformity that results from the embryo beginning to split into two separate organisms, or twins, but doing so incompletely.
The condition is also called dicephaly, or two heads, said Michael Wagner, an author of the report and researcher at Michigan State University.
The fetus was inside a bull shark caught off the Keys in April 2011.
A local fisherman gave Rice the specimen.
The shark was the subject of a report in the Journal of Fish Biology that was co-authored by Rice.
Two-headed sharks are rare, with only about six reported cases in history. It’s the first case in a bull shark, Wagner said.
The shark also had two stomachs and two hearts before merging into one creature, Wagner said.
It was among several extracted from the mother shark.
The other shark pups were released back into the ocean and swam away, Wagner said.
It was doubtful the two-headed shark would have survived in the wild, as it was about half the size it should have been and had a much reduced spinal column, the researcher said.
Wagner could not determine the cause of the mutation, speculating it was some kind of “natural” genetic mutation. There was no evidence that it was from pollution, radiation or any kind of man-made causes, he said.
The foot-long pup was kept intact and not dissected when it was studied. The shark was shipped to Michigan State University where it was X-rayed and underwent an MRI.
ORIGINAL POST HERE
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