A two-headed loggerhead sea turtle hatchling has been found by biologists at the bottom of a nest on a beach in North Carolina and it was deemed healthy enough to swim off into the sea like its single-headed siblings.
Biologists with the National Park Service found the bizarre two-headed loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) on Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina .
In the footage, the little turtle is seen being checked over by a biologist from the National Park Service.
The researchers determined that, despite its deformity, the hatchling was in good health with strong flippers so they released it into the sea to catch up with the others.
If the hatchling makes it to adulthood, it could reach a weight of 135 kg (298 lb) and 90 cm (35 in) in length.
The park didn’t comment on how the turtle’s extra head will affect its physical development or ability to survive in the wild.
The loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea where they spend most of their lives feeding on bottom-dwelling invertebrates.
The female turtles leave the water and come to shore to lay their eggs in huge nests which often contain upwards of 100 eggs.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers the species ‘vulnerable’ with their biggest threats being the loss of nesting habitat due to coastal development, predation of nests, and fishing nets.
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