Janus, the world’s oldest two-headed turtle, creates a world record

Maya Devi

The Geneva Natural History Museum in Switzerland celebrated the 25th birthday of a special two-headed tortoise, Janus, on 3rd September and created a world record. He will become the world's oldest two-headed or bicephalic tortoise.

Usually, such tortoises do not survive too long due to their inability to retract their head back into the shell. They can also not survive in the wild because of that.

Born in 1997, the longevity of Janus is a high milestone, and it is all thanks to a surveillance team headed by Angelica Bourgoin. They constantly monitor him and check the reptile's general condition. They examine his shell, eyes, neck as well as his mobility daily. His diet includes organic cut fruits and vegetables. It bathes with green tea and chamomile and exercises on a special custom-made skateboard. He also goes for daily walks with some music and gets a daily massage. Janus has a pair of hearts and lungs as well as two different personalities.

He is a Greek Tortoise, and his name is derived from the two-headed Roman God of beginning and change. A special party is being hosted this weekend to celebrate his birthday. There are a series of events lined up, and visitors will get to meet and greet their caretakers, as well as get opportunities to click selfies.

A scientific lecture will also be delivered to give the spectators special insights into this unique tortoise. He is one of the major tourist attractions at the museum and was cleaned with a toothbrush on his special day.

But all days aren’t good for Janus. He underwent bladder stone surgery in 2020, and his heads need to be massaged with vaseline to relieve the soreness caused due to the friction between the two heads.

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