BARNSTABLE, Mass. (CBS) – A turtle that hatched recently on Cape Cod is making headlines — because it has two heads. The turtle, which hatched from a protected nesting site in Barnstable, has a condition called bicephaly, which can occur from genetic and environmental factors.
“No you are not seeing double!” the Cape Wildlife Center posted, sharing a photo of a diamondback terrapin hatchling.
According to experts, the condition is similar to conjoined human twins. The turtles share parts of their body, but also have independent parts as well. This turtle has two heads and six legs.
Though animals with bicephaly don’t always survive or live long lives, Cape Wildlife Center said “these two have given us reason to be optimistic” after two weeks of care. The turtles are eating, swimming, and gaining weight.
“It is impossible to get inside the heads of these two, but it appears that they work together to navigate their environment,” the center said.
The center is taking the case day-by-day, and is hoping to learn as much from the turtles as possible.