One of the most unique animals visitors encounter at the Greensboro Science Center is a little Yellow Bellied Slider that goes by the name Jim & I. The double name gives a small clue as to why this little one is so popular among visitors… it was born with two heads.
How Does This Happen?
When Jim & I was just a little fertilized egg, traveling down mom’s birth canal, the egg began to split. Under normal circumstances, the egg splits completely and an eggshell forms around each. But in this case, nature had different plans. Before the egg could divide entirely, the eggshell formed around Jim & I, resulting in partial twins sharing one shell.
About Jim & I
Jim & I was born sometime around August of 1999 and was found in Badin Lake, NC. Upon its arrival at the Center in April of 2000, Jim & I was just about the size of a quarter. Jim & I probably has two stomachs and two hearts. Both heads are capable of thinking and eating individually.
About Yellow Bellied Sliders
Yellow Bellied Sliders are often found in ponds, slow-moving streams and swamps throughout the southeastern United States. They can be identified, as their name suggest, by their yellow belly. The bottom shell is yellow with some black markings along the edge. These turtles are active during the day, spending much of their time basking in the sun. They are omnivores, eating aquatic plants and algae, crustaceans, insects, fish and tadpoles.
You can see Jim & I in the herp lab on the lower level of the Museum. The exhibit tank is located at the end of the room and is visible from the hall window.