Rome - Marine biologists in southern Italy have separated conjoined twin loggerhead turtles and released the surviving newborn into the Mediterranean Sea.
The release occurred this week along the beaches of Campania where the endangered loggerheads come to nest every year.
Fulvio Maffucci, marine biologist at Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, said on Wednesday there had been only seven known births of conjoined twin loggerheads in the Mediterranean. He said the fact that one survived was "extraordinary". The smaller twin was dead and significantly underdeveloped compared to the larger twin.
Maffucci said: "After the removal of the dead brother from his chest, he crawled from the nest and he's been released in the wild without any help."
In addition to the twins, one of the hatchlings this year also included a rare albino loggerhead.