A Rare Two-Headed Timber Rattlesnake has been Found in NJ
Two employees of the Burlington County environmental consulting company found something few people — if any — in New Jersey have ever seen in the wild: a two-headed timber rattlesnake.
A regional manager for Dave Schneider Herpetological Associates in Pemberton made the find on Aug. 25 when he was in an area of the Pine Barrens where he had heard a timber rattlesnake had given birth.
Already considered the state's most endangered species, the venomous two-headed timber is extremely rare. The 8-inch snake has two fully functioning heads, four eyes, and two tongues.
Schneider said that the snake was named Double Dave in honor of the two Daves working in the office and is living in their office for now.
One of the heads seems to be dominant but are both functional and alert.
"We will probably X-ray the snake to check its functions," Schneider said. One thing they'd like to find out is how many esophagi the snake has and how it shares them.
He's not sure how long it will live. Another two-headed timer kept in captivity lived for 21 years.
Herpetological Associates specializes in the study of endangered and threatened reptiles species and specializes in bog turtles but consults on a variety of plant, fish, invertebrate, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species.