What’s more awesome than watching a snake eating an entire meal whole? Watching one snake, with two heads, eating two meals – at the same time.
Recently, reptile enthusiast and owner of BHB Reptiles Brian Barczyk shared an incredible video to Instagram showing his snake (or snakes?) eating two mice, one for each head. Ben and Jerry, as the snake is affectionately called, enjoyed the oversized meal and was quickly met by swathes of love on social media, where the video went viral.
Like us, you may be wondering: does Ben and Jerry share one digestive tract? Will the mice meet in the middle?
“They do share a stomach and their tracheae attach about an inch down from their heads,” Barczyk told IFLScience.
So, yes, there will be a minor traffic jam once the mice enter the system, and probably some serious indigestion.
Ben and Jerry is a two-headed California Kingsnake, and is part of Barczyk’s collection and lifetime effort to own an adult two-headed snake. While rare, the two-headed deformity is not completely unheard of – it's a condition called bicephaly, which is estimated to affect one in every 10,000 snake births. As in the case of conjoined twins, it occurs when a fertilized egg does not fully split. And while it is more common in snakes than most other animals, it can affect any vertebrate.
Unfortunately, most two-headed snakes barely make it past a few months old, but should they reach adulthood, they go on to live a happy and healthy life. Following numerous purchases of two-headed baby snakes, Barczyk never quite managed to own a healthy adult, until a friend sold him Ben and Jerry.
Now, the snake lives a happy life in its enclosure at the Reptarium, a reptile zoo in Michigan where Barczyk regularly tours visitors, and clearly regularly bites off more than it can chew.