VIDEO: Two-headed sea turtle hatchling discovered at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Screenshot from video posted by Cape Hatteras National Seashore of an unusual two-headed sea turtle.

Rangers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore have discovered an unusual sea turtle hatchling — one with two heads.

Known as polycephaly, two heads on one turtle are rare, but not unheard of. Earlier this summer, a similar specimen was discovered on the beach in Edisto Beach State Park in South Carolina.

The hatchling was discovered Monday morning as seashore biological technicians were conducting a sea turtle nest excavation south of Ramp 32 on Hatteras Island, the National Park Service said.

Overall, genetic deformities of sea turtle hatchlings at the seashore and around the world are common. However, finding a live, two-headed sea turtle hatchling is rare. In the last five years, seashore staff have found two, two-headed sea turtle hatchlings, both of which were not found alive, park service spokesman Michael Barber said in an email.

The two-headed sea turtle on Hatteras was released into the ocean, and it successfully swam away.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com