Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Pathol. 2013 Aug-Oct;149(2-3):368-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2012.11.244. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Multiple congenital malformations in a dicephalic spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca ibera).

Author information

Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.


A 22-day-old dicephalic spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca ibera) died following a history of lethargy, anorexia and absence of defecation. The two heads were anatomically similar with independent reaction to external stimuli. The carapace showed doubled first and extra second vertebral scutes. Radiography and transplastronal ultrasonography, performed when the animal was alive, revealed two symmetrical stomachs and two asynchronous hearts. These findings were confirmed by necropsy examination. Oesophagus, liver, gallbladder and trachea were also duplicated. Other malformations included pyloric valve atresia of the left stomach, focal stenosis of the transverse colon and liver hypoplasia. Dicephalism rarely occurs in Testudinidae and its pathogenesis, still unclear, is discussed.


congenital; dicephalism; malformations; tortoise

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center