In the Cape Town of Massachusetts, veterinarians have observed a very specialized tortoise or actually two turtles raised together and the size of a chicken nest. The creature has two heads and six legs.
“No, you don’t see the twins,” writes the New England Wildlife Center, a local animal organization Facebook. “This diamondback terrapin actually has two heads.” The young animal was found at a protected Massachusetts nest site and taken to a nearby animal hospital.
In principle, this is not about a turtle, but about twins that grew together in an egg. Like humans, conjoined twins share certain body parts. X-rays show that the vertebrae of animals are interconnected and that they both have separate digestive systems. The twins “integrate” together when swimming, so they come in time in the air.
The striking Siamese turtles perform surprisingly well. “Animals in this rare condition often do not live long, but now we are optimistic,” writes the Wildlife Center. “They have been with us for two weeks now. They are bright and active. They eat, swim and grow every day. Experts think the twins work together to explore their environment.
So there is hope for the New England Wildlife Center, but it is exciting. They carefully monitor the condition of the turtles and hope to do better research when they are a little older.
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