Reptile expert Brian Barczyk filmed the incredible moment and shared it with his over 600,000 Instagram followers, saying: “So my two-headed snake Ben and Jerry are both eating right now. They don’t always eat at the same time actually, in this case, both of them are eating each side.”
Followers were sᴛᴜɴɴᴇᴅ by watching the brown and yellow snake having dinner with some wondering how both heads can eat simultaneously as the snake has only one digestive system.
Brian, who also works at “The Reptarium” in Michigan, said: “A friend produced them. It is a freak of nature and totally unexpected. It took me one-and-a-half years of begging before he sold them to me.”
“We have about 10 one-of-a-kind animals [in the Reptarium] including Ben and Jerry, also a two headed turtle, and several one-of-a-kind ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ and other colour mutations.”
Two-headed snakes are rare but they have been observed in the wild a few times before. The two-headed reptile is the result of a phenomenon known as ʙɪᴄᴇᴘʜᴀʟʏ, which occurs from the incomplete splitting of an embryo.
This process also leads to conjoined twins in humans, although snakes and turtles are more commonly found with two heads and one body. Ben and Jerry is a California Kingsnake and is one in 10,000 snakes that were born with two heads.
“99.9% of two headed animals never see their first birthday, but once they sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ to adulthood, which Ben and Jerry are, they usually live a full life, Barczyk told in an email. “We expect them to live 20-25 years.”
While Ben and Jerry have spent their life in ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ, another two-head snake was found slithering in the wild lands of Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) shared images last October of the rare snake on its Facebook page, saying it was found slithering around a home.