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Conjoined Indotestudo elongata

 


 

July 8, 1998 

Upon this morning I opened the incubator to check on the progress of the various eggs.  I was overjoyed as I always am to see that yet another egg had hatched in the night. This eggs had been laid on March 19th by my nine year old female Indotestudo elongata.   At 111 days this was somewhat earlier than I would normally have expected this egg to hatch but as the egg had appeared normal in size and weight when laid I thought nothing of the early hatching. 

The egg when laid weighed 43.4 grams and measured 48 mm by 41 mm. Upon examination of the egg I was initially overjoyed to discover that it was twins!  This initial impression soon changed to trepidation as I discovered that these to babies were in fact conjoined and shared a single yolk sac and presumably the same blood supply.
 
The babies are somewhat undersized with the larger being about two thirds the size of a typical elongated hatchling and the smaller being about half the typical size. Accurate measurements were not taken as I felt it best not to handle the babies excessively.
 My first thought was to cut them apart after tying off the umbilical from the rest of their bodies but after examination I decided that this was beyond my knowledge as I am unaware of the physiology involved with yolk sac connection and especially this type of situation. The last thing I would want to have happen would be to kill these two hatchlings by trying to help them. 
At this point I cast out an email net to garner as much information and assistance as was possible. 

Go to Part II - Conjoined Indotestudo elongata - Separation

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