The young spotted python has two eyes in the same socket, likely due to a rare syndrome called cyclopia.
Tyree Jimerson, who specializes in breeding brocade pythons, discovered a mutant baby python with two eyes joined when breaking the latest python eggshell, Newsweek reported yesterday. This practice is quite common in python farming, helping to ensure that the young can escape.
The python inside the egg zigzagged out of the shell with the chorion wrapped around its neck. “When I pulled its head out, it really scared me,” Jimerson said. What Jimerson saw was a python with two eyes in the same socket and an unusual nose.
What surprised Jimerson even more was that the python was born alive. But he said the animal was very weak and could not raise its head. Jimerson had heard of this phenomenon before. “There was a person who also owned the same python and it didn’t survive. So I took care of it and destroyed it,” Jimerson said.
Jimerson took a few pictures of the weird python, then put it in the freezer. “I just let it freeze. I had no choice,” Jimerson said. Breeders preserve the python carcass with formalin solution. Jimerson intended to sell the unique specimen and received an offer to buy it back for $750.
The python can suffer from cyclopia, in which the embryo’s face becomes too flattened during development. In this case, the two eye sockets are fused together and the two eyes are in the same place. In other cases, the animal has only one large eye. Pigs, cattle, humans, and sharks can all experience this syndrome. Because cyclopia affects the brain, animals with the mutation rarely live long after birth.