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1-min read

Monty Python: A Three-Eyed Snake Was Found on an Australian Highway

Experts reckon the third eye, on top of its head, could have been a natural mutation.

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Updated:May 2, 2019, 5:17 PM IST
Monty Python: A Three-Eyed Snake Was Found on an Australian Highway
Image Credits: Facebook/Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife.
A three-eyed snake dubbed ‘Monty Python’ for its unusual deformity died weeks after it was found by wildlife authorities on a highway in northern Australia.

The Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Service, which shared photos of the baby carpet python on Facebook, described the discovery as "peculiar".

The 15 inch-long reptile died just weeks after it was found in March by Rangers near the town of Humpty Doo, 40km (25 miles) south-east of Darwin, BBC reports.

Experts reckon the third eye, on top of its head, could have been a natural mutation.

The snake had been struggling to eat due to its deformity, officials told the BBC.

The wildlife service said X-ray scans had showed that the snake did not have two heads formed together.

"Rather it appeared to be one skull with an additional eye socket and three functioning eyes," it said on Facebook.

Snake expert Prof Bryan Fry said mutations were a natural part of evolution.

"Every baby has a mutation of some sort - this one is just particularly gross and misshapen," said Prof Fry, from the University of Queensland.

"I haven't seen a three-eyed snake before, but we have a two-headed cobra python in our lab - it's just a different kind of mutation like what we see with Siamese twins."

He suggested that the snake's third eye may have been "the last little bit of a twin that's been absorbed."

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