A rare two-headed diamondback terrapin is alive and kicking — with all six of its legs — at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts after hatching two weeks ago.

A threatened species in the state, the turtle is feeding well on blood worms and food pellets, staff at the center say. The two heads operate independently, coming up for air at different times, and inside its shell are two gastrointestinal systems — which include all the organs of the digestive system — to feed both sides of its body.

The turtle originally came from a nest in West Barnstable, Massachusetts, that researchers determined was in a hazardous location and needed to be moved. After hatching, turtles in what are called “head start” nests are sent to different care centers to be monitored before their release in the spring, the Cape Cod Times reported.

Center veterinarian Priya Patel and other staff members will monitor the turtle, which they nicknamed Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen after the twin celebrities. The staff is hoping to perform a CT scan to learn more about its circulatory system through 3-D imagery.

To our commenters

A reminder from the KidsPost team: Our stories are geared to 7- to 13-year-olds. We welcome discussion from readers of all ages, but please follow our community rules and make comments appropriate for that age group.