Scientists find dead conjoined twin bats in Brazil. Picture: MARCELO R. NOGUEIRA: LABORATÓRIO DE CIÊNCIAS AMBIENTAIS
Scientists find dead conjoined twin bats in Brazil. Picture: MARCELO R. NOGUEIRA: LABORATÓRIO DE CIÊNCIAS AMBIENTAIS

Two-headed bat baffles scientists

THEY say two heads are better than one …

Scientists have been left "completely astonished" after finding the perfectly preserved remains of dead conjoined twin bats under a tree in Brazil, reports The Sun.

It is only the third recorded case of conjoined bats and experts are now examining their remains to find out more about the phenomena.

Scientists find dead conjoined twin bats in Brazil. Picture: LABORATÓRIO DE RADIOGRAFIAS, MUSEU NACIONAL, UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DO RIO DE JANEIROSource:Supplied
Scientists find dead conjoined twin bats in Brazil. Picture: LABORATÓRIO DE RADIOGRAFIAS, MUSEU NACIONAL, UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DO RIO DE JANEIROSource:Supplied

The bats are believed to have been stillborn and still had the placenta attached when they were discovered under a mango tree in the southeast of the country.

Marcelo Nogueira, from the State University of Northern Rio de Janeiro, said: "We believe the mother of these twins was roosting in this tree when she gave birth.

"It is our hope that cases like this will encourage more studies on bat embryology, an open and fascinating field of research that can largely benefit from material already available in scientific collections."

Scientists find dead conjoined twin bats in Brazil. Picture: NADJA L. PINHEIRO, FROM ÁREA DE EMBRIOLOGIA, UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL RURAL DO RIO DE JANEIROSource:Supplied
Scientists find dead conjoined twin bats in Brazil. Picture: NADJA L. PINHEIRO, FROM ÁREA DE EMBRIOLOGIA, UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL RURAL DO RIO DE JANEIROSource:Supplied

Little is known about conjoined animals. Just one in around 200,000 human births involved conjoined twins.

Survival rates are around 15 per cent in humans but are thought to be much lower in the animal world.

An X-ray shows the male bats have separate heads and necks but their spines eventually merge into one.

They also have two separate but similar size hearts.

The total breadth of the twins, including wingspan, measures around 13cm.

Based on their physical characteristics the scientists determined they were most likely 'Artibeus' bats.

News Corp Australia

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