After hatching two weeks ago, a rare two-headed diamondback terrapin turtle is alive and kicking – with all six of its legs – at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts.
This turtle, a threatened species in the state, is doing well on blood worms and food pellets, according to center staff. The two heads work independently, coming up for air at different times, and there are two gastrointestinal systems inside its shell to feed both sides of its body.
The turtle was found in a nest in West Barnstable that researchers determined was in a dangerous location and needed to be relocated. Turtles in these “head start” nests are sent to different care centers after hatching to be monitored before being released in the spring, according to The Cape Cod Times.
Pria Patel, the center’s veterinarian, and other staff members will continue to monitor the turtle, which they have dubbed Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen after the twin child stars. The staff hopes to conduct a CT scan to learn more about its circulatory system.