“One turtle egg at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center Massachusetts, USA, surprised the workers when it hatched. Two turtles came out of it. Here’s the surprise: on one body! These are called conjoined twins. They have two heads and six legs attached to a single body. They also have their own breathing and eating system,” Felix said to the other Mysticals at breakfast.
Verum touched her crystal ball to show everyone the conjoined turtles.
“They’re adorable!” Scorch said. “But are they okay?”
“Yes, Scorch. They’re absolutely healthy. Although animals with this rare condition rarely survive, the turtle twins are doing great so far. They’re alert and active. They’re eating and digesting their food and are steadily gaining weight.
They swim together underwater and come to the surface when one of them needs to breathe. They’re learning how to coordinate with each other to explore their environment,” Felix explained.
“I remember reading an article about other conjoined animals. There was a two-headed viper in Virginia, a two-headed porpoise (king of whales) in the North Sea, and a two-headed deer. None of them survived. So, these new healthy conjoined turtles serve as hope that they might just make it. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed,” Orak added.
“Not just in animals but this genetic condition is visible even in human babies. Let me give you the example of the conjoined twins – Shivram and Shivnath Sahu – of Chhattisgarh in India. They were born joined at the waist. Their body had two legs but four arms and separate hearts, brains, and lungs. However, they fell ill and recently passed away before their 20th birthday.
But there have been cases where conjoined twins have led long, healthy lives. The conjoined twins – Abigail and Brittany Hansel – from the USA and 28 years old and living happily! They’re joined from the chest but have separate heads, hearts, lungs, and spinal cord.
“Nature never stops to amaze,” Scorch said, looking at the two sweet turtle heads in Verum’s crystal ball.