A rare two-headed rattlesnake found in New Jersey

PEMBERTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A young timber rattlesnake found in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey is a rarity.

What makes it rare - it has two fully formed heads, four eyes, and two flicking tongues but one body.

It weighs an estimated one to two ounces.

Herpetologist Dave Schneider, who works for Herpetological Associates of Burlington County, was one of two employees named Dave who found the venomous snake. Given the men's same first names and the snake's two heads, the 8- to 10-inch long snake has been named 'Double Dave.'

Double-headed snakes rarely survive in the wild because they sometimes move slowly and can be easy targets for predators.

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Herpeological Associates is an environmental consulting firm that works to protect the habitats of endangered species including snakes. CEO Bob Zappalorti showed us his firm also maintains an extensive collection of endangered snakes, including rattlesnakes.

Both Schneider and Zappalorti have decades of experience with handling and raising snakes. But neither have dealt with a two-headed snake.

Both men hope 'Double Dave' has a fully developed digestive system, will take nourishment and will flourish.

Two-headed snakes have been reported to live as long as 15 to 20 years in captivity.
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