If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you know who Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are. The twins started out on “Full House,” and then branched out to do their own straight to-VHS-videos where they made millions from little girls like me. Eventually, they expanded into doing fashion, which did very well. Now, because of all their success, a VERY rare two-headed turtle has been named after the duo.
Meet Mary-Kate and Ashley the turtle!
While the turtle(s) are too young to be sexed, it’s still a cute name for them. The turtles came from a protected nesting site in Barnstable. They are diamondback terrapins, and share a single shell. Under that shell and after extensive research they found that they have two separate spines and are connected at the base. Much like you would see in a conjoined twin. Each side controls three legs and they both have separate gastrointestinal tracts.
While the prognosis for these types of animals are never great, Chief Executive Officer at New England Wildlife Center Katrina Bergman says that they’ve done very well under observation.
Experts were worried that the turtle(s) wouldn’t be able to swim, but they were able to not only do it successfully, but also when they came up for air, they both were able to breathe. These turtles probably won’t be released into the wild anytime soon and I suspect they will become the wildlife centers pet. Simply because when releasing an animal like this into the wild it can be difficult for them to live easily.
The turtles have been doing quite well with their growth too. When first coming to the New England Wildlife Center on Sept 22nd they weighed 6.5 grams. Now just weeks later they weigh 9 grams, says Bergman. If you want to follow their journey you can like the New England Wildlife Center’s Facebook page here.