Original Research

Finding of a two-headed green turtle embryo during nest monitoring in Baa Atoll, Maldives

Stephanie Köhnk, Rosie Brown, Amelia Liddell
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 88, No 1 | a1940 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v88i1.1940 | © 2021 Stephanie Koehnk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2021 | Published: 24 August 2021

About the author(s)

Stephanie Köhnk, Olive Ridley Project, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire, United Kingdom; and, Morphology Lab, Center of Natural History, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Rosie Brown, Olive Ridley Project, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire, United Kingdom; and, Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, Maldives
Amelia Liddell, Olive Ridley Project, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire, United Kingdom; and, Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, Maldives


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Abstract

Green sea turtles are one of the two species of marine turtles known to nest in the Maldives. The prevalent time of nesting seems to be inconsistent throughout the island nation. In this study, sea turtle nesting activity was monitored on the island of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu in Baa Atoll over a period of 12 months. A total of 13 nests were confirmed with a median hatching success rate of 89.58% as ascertained by nest excavation. In one of the nests, a severely deformed hatchling with polycephaly, an opening in the neck area and a lordotic spine was found, and we investigated in detail with radiographic images and a necropsy. Our findings support the importance of consistent nesting activity and nest monitoring efforts in the country as a basis for conservation efforts.

Keywords

case report; Chelonia mydas; congenital malformation; polycephaly; sea turtle; nesting; Indian Ocean

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