The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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A Two-Headed Turtle from 1888

March 9th, 2012 · 2 Comments


Two-headed turtles are not particularly rare.  I’ve seen a couple; films are online.  You can even buy one from a turtle supplier, if you have the money (they’re expensive).

I’ve never seen such a detailed description, though, as the one that appeared in the May 1889 issue of St. Nicholas magazine.  In “A Queer Pet,” E. H. Barbour devoted three pages to the life, behavior, and death of a two-headed painted turtle (called here a tortoise, for some reason) caught in June, 1888, in New Haven, Connecticut.  There are details on eating, sleeping, walking, and swimming, as negotiated by two not particularly amicable heads.




Tags: Animals

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lisa // Mar 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Wow. A better term might be “one-bodied turtles.” Too bad they came to such a sad and premature end.

  • 2 Doug // Mar 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Yes, they’re really Siamese twins, covered by one shell. It is too bad; but two-headers don’t do well in the wild, so they had a better life while it lasted…

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