SEP 10, 2016 10:07 AM PDT

Biologists Remove a Conjoined Twin From a Loggerhead Turtle

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Loggerhead turtles are an endangered species, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and as a result, biologists spend a lot of time checking up on the species.
Among one of the findings last month was a specimen off of the beaches of Campania in Italy that appeared to have a conjoined twin attached to its belly.

A conjoined twin attached to a loggerhead turtle from Italy.

 Image Credit: Anton Dohrn Zoological Station via AP

Unfortunately, the twin was dead, so the turtle was lugging around dead weight that was slowing it down and making it a prime target for predators and other dangers.
Marine biologist Fulvio Maffucci was surprised to see just how under-developed the conjoined twin was, noting that he has only seen about seven confirmed cases of conjoined twin loggerhead turtles in his career.
Biologists stepped in to help the turtle, and through a surgical procedure, they were able to remove the dead carcass from the live loggerhead turtle before releasing it back into the wild.
“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," Maffucci said.
It has reportedly been a very interesting year for the loggerhead turtle species. Not only have we seen a conjoined twin case this year, but the Associated Press also reports that one of the hatchlings was also a rare albino.
Loggerheads remain endangered to this day, but conservation efforts are working hard to help ensure their survival. Removing this potentially life-threating conjoined twin from could have saved this turtle’s life.


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About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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