July 27 (UPI) -- Workers performing a routine sea turtle nest inventory at a South Carolina state park made an unusual discovery: a hatchling with two heads.
South Carolina State Parks said in a Facebook post that the Edisto Beach State Park's Sea Turtle Patrol was out doing a routine nest inventory after detecting a major emergence at the park.
"Three to five days after a sea turtle nest shows signs of a major emergence, we dig down to determine the success of the nest by counting the hatched eggs, unhatched eggs and on occasions also find live hatchlings," the post said.
The team found three living loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings still in the nest, "but one hatchling in particular stood out because it had two heads!"
The post said the hatchling's condition is caused by a genetic mutation. All three of the hatchlings were released into the ocean.
"Other two-headed hatchlings have been found in South Carolina in past years, but this is a first for the patrol team at Edisto Beach State Park," South Carolina State Parks said.