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Biologists Remove Dead Conjoined Twin From Endangered Turtle

Marine biologist said the fact that one survived was "extraordinary"
By The News · 18 of August 2016 11:42:16
This image taken on Monday Aug 15, 2016 by Anton Dohrn Zoological Station shows a rare albino loggerhead turtle born in Acciaroli, Southern Italy and released into the Mediterranean Sea Tuesday Aug. 16, 2016, No available, photo: Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, via AP

Marine biologists in southern Italy have separated conjoined twin loggerhead turtles and released the surviving newborn into the Mediterranean Sea.

The release occurred this week along the beaches of Campania where the endangered loggerheads come to nest every year.

This image taken on Monday Aug 15, 2016 by Anton Dohrn Zoological Station shows two conjoined twin loggerhead turtles born in Acciaroli, Southern Italy. Marine biologists have separated conjoined twin turtles and released the surviving newborn, at right in the picture, into the Mediterranean Sea, Tuesday Aug. 16, 2016. (Anton Dohrn Zoological Station via AP)

This image taken on Aug 15, 2016 by Anton Dohrn Zoological Station shows two conjoined twin loggerhead turtles born in Acciaroli, Southern Italy. Photo: AP/Anton Dohrn

Fulvio Maffucci, marine biologist at Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, said Wednesday there had been only seven known births of conjoined twin loggerheads in the Mediterranean. He said the fact that one survived was “extraordinary.” The smaller twin was dead and significantly underdeveloped compared to the larger twin.

Maffucci said: “After the removal of the dead brother from his chest, he crawled from the nest and he’s been released in the wild without any help.”

In addition to the twins, one of the hatchlings this year also included a rare albino loggerhead.