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Two heads, One snake: First Record of dicephalism in the Common Krait from Nepal

Dicephalism is the condition of having two heads on one body. While this is a rare condition, there are several cases of dicephalism occurring in snakes. A new study demonstrates the first record of dicephalism in the Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus), in Nepal.

Save The Snakes’ Conservation Partner in Nepal, Kamal Devkota, was contacted when the snake was found in a home in the Nawalpur District of Nepal. Such cases are rare and further investigations needed to be done. In many regions of Nepal, people will kill snakes when encountered due to fear and lack of knowledge about them. These killings have very likely reduced many snakes in the area, such as the Common Krait, which has led to a lack of knowledge in the behaviour and ecology of this snake in Nepal.

Kamal is doing fantastic snake educational work with Nepal Toxinology Association to reduce human-snake conflict, create awareness about snakes and reduce snake killings. This specimen is a new addition to the list of two-headed snakes and represents only the second record worldwide for B. caeruleus and the first record from Nepal. This study shows that there is opportunity for such encounters in the Nepal if snake killings are reduced and snake encounters are reported.

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