Story at a glance:
- A group of beach volunteers stumbled upon a two-headed baby sea turtle in South Carolina.
- The ”two-headed hatchling is the result of a genetic mutation,” the patrollers’ official Facebook stated.
- The condition in which animals have two heads is known as polycephaly, and it leads to a shorter lifespan.
Patrolling the Edisto Beach State Park beach in South Carolina last Wednesday, a group of volunteers stumbled upon an odd discovery: a two-headed baby sea turtle.
It is part of any patroller and volunteer’s duty to inspect the nests of sea turtles after they hatch, CNN reported.
However, it just so happens fate brought the two-headed turtle and South Carolina State Parks together.
On the park’s official Facebook page, the patrol team at Edisto Beach State Park said they found three live loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings still in the nest, including the rare specimen. The “two-headed hatchling is the result of a genetic mutation,” they wrote. “Other two-headed hatchlings have been found in South Carolina in past years, but this is a first for the patrol team at Edisto Beach State Park.”
The patrol team took a few pictures of the creature and released it into the ocean along with its nestmates, according to the Facebook page.
Summer is a critical time for loggerhead turtle eggs as it is when most of them start to hatch. SeaWorld notes that nests that are disturbed by humans or animal predators before hatching have a 25 percent or less chance of success.
The condition of a two-headed animal is called polycephaly, according to All Pet News.
Just like humans, known as Siamese twins, surgery, albeit difficult and risky, is a possible option in separating conjoined animals.
Polycephaly is more common in reptiles, and it does shorten their lifespan.
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