A rare two-headed diamondback terrapin is alive, on all six legs, at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts after being hatched two weeks ago.

A threatened species in the state, this tortoise is feeding well on bloodworms and food pellets, center staff say.

The two heads operate independently, rising through the air at different times, and within its shell are two gastrointestinal systems to feed both sides of its body.

The turtle originally came from a nest in West Barnstable that researchers determined was in a dangerous location and needed to be moved.

After hatching, the turtles in these so-called “starter” nests are sent to different care centers for monitoring before release in the spring, The Cape Cod Times reported.

The center’s veterinarian, Pria Patel, and other staff members will continue to monitor the tortoise, dubbed Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in honor of the twin child stars.

The staff hopes to perform a CT scan to learn more about his circulatory system.


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