Two-Headed Baby Turtle Found in Florida

Two-Headed Baby Turtle Found in Florida

Jocelyn Reeder, Feature Editor

A University of Central Florida intern found a baby turtle struggling to get to sea. Upon looking closer, she noticed the baby turtle had a second head.  Thousands of turtles lay eggs along Florida’s coastline, which is one of the largest cluster of loggerheads in the world. Loggerhead turtles are protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the International Union for the Conservation  of Nature, which classify the reptile exposed to extinction.

Kate Mansfield, who manages the university’s Marine Turtle Research Group reported to National Geographic, “It’s not rare to find a turtle born with development abnormalities but it is rare to find one alive. In my career I’ve only seen one other turtle with two heads.” The intern releases the turtle and despite lagging behind its nest mates, it appeared energetic as it crawled away.  The chances for survival are really low.

The two-headed loggerhead  turtle is not the only animal to have two heads in the world. In 2013, a freshwater Texas River Cooter was born in the San Antonio zoo with two heads. The turtle or turtles lived to be a year old before it died of unknown causes. The zoo explained that the turtles suffered from a condition that results when zygotes don’t properly separate during development.

The condition is thought to occur in a number of animal species, but it is widespread in snakes and turtles.