Better Together: Conjoined Baby Turtles Hatch
A wildlife centre in Massachusetts were seeing double when a pair of conjoined turtles were brought to them! The Cape WildLife Center, a non-profit in New England, are currently looking after the twin diamondback terrapins, who, according to an update on their Facebook, share the same body, but have two separate spines that fused together, and six legs, with each of them controlling three legs.
According to the Cape Wildlife Center, the twins are thriving, and after two weeks monitoring at the center ‘continue to be bright and active… eating, swimming and gaining weight each day.’ The pair are coordinating with each other, with the Center supervising them whilst swimming, and observing that they are coming to the surface to breathe when they need to.
Survival rates of animals with bicephaly, the name given to the condition of animals with two heads, is low, with the rare anomaly occurring due to genetic and environmental factors. Most recently the condition was documented in 2018, when a two-headed eastern copperhead snake was discovered in Virginia, yet the phenomenon has been traced back to more than 150 million years ago, with the discovery of a two-headed reptile fossil.