Two-headed Diamondback Terrapin Hatchling Doing Well At MA’s Cape Wildlife Center

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Two-headed Diamondback Terrapin Hatchling Doing Well At MA’s Cape Wildlife Center

The twin turtles have two heads, six legs, separate digestive systems and two spines.

A two-headed diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) that hatched in a head start nesting site in Barnstable, MA is doing well at the Cape Wildlife

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A two-headed diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) that hatched in a head start nesting site in Barnstable, MA is doing well at the Cape Wildlife Center. The twin turtles have two heads, six legs, separate digestive systems and two spines. Further testing also revealed that they can coordinate swimming and can come up for air when they need it.

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“Animals with this rare condition don’t always survive very long or live a good quality of life, but these two have given us reason to be optimistic!” Cape Wildlife wrote on its Facebook page. ““They” have been in our care for just over two weeks and continue to be bright and active. They are eating, swimming, and gaining weight each day. It is impossible to get inside the heads of these two, but it appears that they work together to navigate their environment.”


Diamondback Terrapin Natural History And Captive Care


Diamondback terrapins are medium-sized turtles that are found in coastal brackish and saltwater marshes in the southeastern and eastern United States. Males grow to about five inches in carapace length while females can reach nine inches in carapace length. In Massachusetts, the diamondback terrapin is listed as threatened.

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