Two-headed baby turtle named after Olsen twins

A double-headed diamondback terrapin is weighed at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Cummaquid where the 2-week-old reptile is being treated. (Photo by  / USA Today Network/Sipa USA)

A double-headed diamondback terrapin is weighed at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Cummaquid where the 2-week-old reptile is being treated. (Photo by / USA Today Network/Sipa USA)

A rare two-headed diamondback terrapin turtle is alive and kicking - with all six of its legs - in the US state of 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 Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center say.

The turtle's two heads operate independently, coming up for air at different times, and inside its shell are two gastrointestinal systems to feed both sides of its body.

The turtle originally came from a nest researchers determined was in a hazardous location and needed to be moved.

After hatching two weeks ago at the New England Wildlife Center (NEWC), the turtle was named 'Mary-Kate and Ashley' after the US acting and fashion designing Olsen twins.

"They've grown up to three inches now," Katrina Bergman, CEO at NEWC told The Boston Globe.

"They're eating and gaining weight.

"We were shocked that each head controlled three legs, and they were able to swim together, which was astonishing."

Veterinarians will continue to monitor the turtle in the coming weeks and are hoping to perform a CT scan to learn more about its circulatory system and internal organs.

© AP 2021