Teeny Tortoise Twins Hatch from Tiny Egg

posted: 10/16/15
by: Danny Clemens
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In the human world, a pair of twins isn't anything out of the ordinary, but how often do we hear about twin tortoises?

New Jersey-based conservation organization Garden State Tortoise recently took to social media to share their account of the hatching of two tortoise twins from a single egg.

"Last night, I noticed a Western Hermann's tortoise (T. h. hermanni) having an issue breaking out of its egg. I don't like to intervene but I'm glad I did this time. The egg contained TWINS. Perfectly formed, sharing the same yolk sac, the slightly larger of the two was the one trying to break out. Both are healthy and as of this morning the yolk sac is about 85% absorbed," the organization wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week.

Several days after the tortoises hatched, keepers used dental floss to safely sever the twins' yolk sac:

Endemic to southern Europe, the Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) is known for the striking black and yellow pattern on its shell, which fades as the creature ages. A fully grown tortoise can measure up to 7 inches long, although adults as short as 3 inches have been identified.


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