(HorizonPost.com) – In the animated show “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” four of the reptiles ended up in the puddle of toxic sludge and morphed into human-sized martial artists. While a group of volunteers who were checking on sea turtle nests in Edisto Beach State Park in South Carolina didn’t have to dodge a nunchuck-wielding “hero in a half shell,” they did find a hatchling described as “the result of a genetic mutation.”
The small creature suffers from a defect known as polycephaly — or having more than one head. While this is considered extremely rare, it’s not unheard of. There have even been other sea turtles found like this in South Carolina in the past, according to the New York Post.
In many cases, these are examples of conjoined twins — the result of a fertilized egg that does not completely separate. A 2016 article published by the BBC told of discoveries of this condition in a bull shark found in the Gulf of Mexico and a dolphin on a beach in Turkey. The phenomenon also occurs in human beings from time to time, as in the case of Brittany and Abby Hensel, who came into the public eye after appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show. They were born in March 1990, meaning they’ve shared a single body for over three decades.
The volunteers in South Carolina did what they always do with the hatchlings that don’t manage to dig out of the sand on their own. They released it into the ocean to fend for itself. Unfortunately, the chances for long-term survival are lower than even the dismal for completely healthy sea turtles which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates between 1-in-1000 and 1-in-10,000.
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