Bob and Sid, the Bicephalic Squid


Sep 1, 2003
This summer, I found what appeared to be a bicephalic squid in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. It turned out to be a small squid stuck inside a large one. But the large one's organs were atrophied and shrivelled, meaning that the small one (Sid) had been living there for a while prior to capture. It has been preserved in a formalin solution, and Dr. Steve O' shea would like me to post all my "Bob and Sid, the Bicephalic Squid" pictures.
I'm just posting 6 of Alex's pics here (of Bob & Sid). Bob is the outer squid, Sid the inner.

Magic stuff!!



That is so freaky! I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April Fool's Day.
Scuse my ignorance, but can you explain how Bob and Sid ended up like that? Are they like cojoined twins (siamese squid :bugout: ) or did Sid just burrow into Bob at some point and take up residence? If so why? how? Its just toooooo icky! :yuck: Ahem... but extremely interesting, of course.
totally wild -- despite the good description, I wouldn't have fully understood it without those pics. I'm with Tentacular on those questions....
Bob and Sid's odd situation

Apparently, Sid just burrowed into Bob- when dissected, it was clear they weren't connected at all. And I don't know how- it could have been during capture, but Bob's atrophied organs prove otherwise.


That's a remarkable find. Seems to have been a weird summer for squid on Cape Cod. Loligo egg-cases washing up left and right, free-loading squid...what next?

Yah, he was...

Bob's atrophied organs could only mean that the two had been stuck together for a while. Had either died, they would have rotted.
....signature works fine Alex ... although it's an interesting choice. Although I enjoy calamari too it's a little like waving a red flag to a bull (online).

We only eat bad squid - those that misbehave!
Well, I guess the next logical question would be: Have any true bicephalic squids ever been found, especially ones of the Giant variety? And if any bicephalic specimens of smaller species have been found, were they living?

Bicephaly (or dicephaly? -- not sure) may be rare, but there have apparently been numerous recorded cases in a variety of species: snakes, turtles, sheep, cows, pigs, etc., and many of these "dual individuals" have survived and thrived just fine, thank you. In a most stunning human case, 12-year-old conjoined twins Abigail and Brittany Hensel share an entire body and have no trouble attending school, bicycling, swimming, diving, etc. (And no, they do not wish to be called a "two-headed girl"!)

[FYI, if Discovery Channel happens to run it again, there is a remarkable and deeply inspiring TV special about these bright and beautiful little girls, called JOINED FOR LIFE, which should not be missed by anyone who doubts the strength of the human spirit in adversity.]

Getting back to the topic at hand -- have there ever been any true bicephalic squid?
Not that I am aware of, Tani. That doesn't mean that they haven't been reported (such a condition is likely to be more lethal than sublethal, so the likelihood of anything surving to any large size would be extremely remote; then again, how on earth Alex's specimen(s) made it so far defeats me!!!!!)

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