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Two-Headed Turtle in Florida a Rare Sight

Two-Headed Turtle in Florida a Rare Sight

(Screengrab of Facebook post/@UCF Marine Turtle Research Group)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 August 2017 01:54 PM

Interns at the University of Central Florida discovered a rare two-headed loggerhead sea turtle in Brevard County about a week ago.

"It's not rare to find a turtle born with developmental abnormalities, but it is rare to find one alive," Kate Mansfield, of the university's Marine Turtle Research Group, said, according to National Geographic.

According to USA Today, it's a stretch for any loggerhead sea turtle to survive 25 or more years. It's an even bigger challenge for two-headed turtles.

"We often find stragglers in the nest and the two-headed turtle was one such straggler," Mansfield said, according to USA Today. "There are so many eggs laid by sea turtles throughout Florida. It is not uncommon to find unhatched eggs in a nest with embryos that ceased development for a variety of reasons, including developmental issues.

"The other two-headed hatchlings I’ve seen or heard of did not survive long. … I don’t know of any two-headed sea turtle adults. Personally, I’ve never seen one," she added.

Due to guidelines put in place by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, UCF's interns had to release the turtle the same day they found it.

"With any live hatchling, we typically release them," Mansfield said, according to USA Today. "If the hatchling had been dead, we likely would have saved the specimen, but we don’t have a facility for long-term care or study of hatchlings. And the state prefers that live animals be released."

Loggerhead turtles are at risk of extinction and protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the Daily Mail reported.

The U.S. Sea Turtle Conservancy estimates that anywhere from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000 infant turtles survive to adulthood, the Daily Mail noted.

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Interns at the University of Central Florida discovered a rare two-headed loggerhead sea turtle in Brevard County about a week ago.
two-headed, turtle, florida, loggerhead
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2017-54-22
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 01:54 PM
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