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Smithsonian Collection Features X-Ray of Two-Headed Shark

August 17, 2014

The largest fish collection in the world has left many people turning their heads. But one specimen in the collection at the National Museum of Natural History really stands out — an x-ray of a two-headed smooth-hound shark.

"You don't see those everyday," Sandra Raredon, a museum specialist, told Smithsonian.com.

The collection has four million specimens, including fish, eggs, larvae and juveniles stored in jars. All together they fill six rooms at the Smithsonian’s Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland.

The collection's two-headed shark x-ray shows a larval specimen, only six inches long, with two separate vertebral columns.

These sharks are usually born at just under one foot long, and can grow to be about 2.5 feet.

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