Weird fish of the week: Two-headed arowana


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This week's weird fish must surely go down in history as one of fishkeeping's most hideous 'creations'.

First viewed by Practical Fishkeeping at Aquarama 2007 in Singapore, this poor Asian arowana, Scleropages formosus, hatched with two heads.

If this ever happens in the wild the fry will not survive, yet with fry being artifically reared from eggs and fry that are hand stripped, this is not only a more common occurence – it also means that the normally ill-fated fish can and do survive.

The individual pictured (or, should we say individuals?) were approximately 15cm/6" long and on show in this bare tank at the exhibition.

They have two separate functioning heads, though it is unclear as to which mouth and set of gills are doing the work.

The fish couldn't swim, lying on the bottom and flailing instead, with both fish heads breathing heavily and looking stressed. Whether the fish survived long term is unclear, however given the question of whether it should have been reared in the first place, the answer surely has to be a 'no'.

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