Twins are children produced by the same pregnancy born at a time. Twins are basically 2 children, three are called triplets and four identical babies are quadruplets and so on. These may be identical (monozygotic i.e developing from a single zygote) in which there is one egg fertilized by a single sperm which due to some reason divides to form two identical zygotes, hence the twins are lookalike of each other. Fraternal (un-identical twins) (di-zygotic twins i.e. developing from two different zygotes) in which two sperms are fertilized by two eggs that form two zygotes and different individuals. There are some amazing facts which most of you might not know. It’s really common of parents dressing them alike and taking them together and their same actions and hobbies, but some interesting facts are mentioned below:
- Different biological fathers: In case of fraternal (di-zygotic twins) in which there are two separate sperms fertilizing two separate eggs, the sperms may be of different persons fertilizing the eggs resulting in twin babies with different fathers biologically. Amazing! Isn’t it?
- Different races: Genes are inherited, due to which a person gets its characteristic features. In case of the mother and father belonging to different races, the set of genes transferred to the offspring might be completely different resulting in babies belonging to two different races.
- Similar babies, similar lives: One can’t have an idea how much resemblance the twin shares, even besides the looks; they may get ill at the same time. The twins usually share similar lives. It can be seen in twins who were separated due to some reasons in childhood, living similar lives as adults, with same children names, same habits, facing same consequences usually.
- Mirror twins: When in womb, the twin’s position may get such that they face each other due to which their characteristics copy and they appear to be mirror images of each other. One baby might be using right hand always while the other is supposed to be lefty then. Everything will lay on opposite sides even birth marks.
- Separating twins by belly button: Even if twins look like same they still can be separated and identified individually by difference in their belly button shape because it is not genetic. It is basically a scar formed after removal of the umbilical cord.
- Identical twins have identical DNAs: Both the twin babies have identical DNAs due to which if they perform any crime, their identification will be difficult by the forensic medicine department. If both of them deny the crime and are not identified, both will be free.
- Left handed: Usually the twins are seen to be using left hand more as compared to normal individuals.
- Birth interval between twins: There can be a birth interval between twins as large as months apart. There may be pre-mature birth of one of the babies due to early breakage of the water bag or any other complication and the second one can come in to the world at its normal time. The highest interval recorded between the two is as high as 87 days.
- Marrying twins with twins: If male twins marry female twins, then their children will be called cousins of course as we know that. But when seen genetically they are siblings. Because identical twins have same set of genes, their children will have same set of genes too. Bit complicated but yes it’s interesting!
- Mom of twins is a Healthy Woman: It is said and believed as well as proved that mother of the twins is comparatively healthier than normal women.
- Taller the woman- more the chances: Results and surveys show that taller women have higher chances of twin pregnancy because of excess growth hormones in them, which results in extra egg ovulation which results in twins.
- Dairy products: Dairy products also have a genetic impact due to which women taking more dairy products have more chances of twins.
- Twins bond: Twins show a strong bond between them from before the time when they came in the world, as early as at 14 weeks. They touch each other and take care of each other from that time. Sweet!
- Conjoined twins: These twins are joined from their head part. They have a common brain part, thalamus. Thalamus is responsible for most of the physical and motor functions because of which these twins can hear and see from each other’s ear and eye. Also they can feel sensations of the other twin easily.
- Adaptive woman’s body to twins: Obviously when a mother gives birth to twins, her body automatically adapts it for being comfortable for them. Women who breast feeds easily adapts to it by automatically regulation of the temperature of the breasts for twin comfort.
- Familial tendency: Mother who is a fraternal twin herself, or there are twins in her family or her siblings, there are higher chances of her to give birth to twins as well.
- Un-identical finger prints: Identical twins have everything similar because of their genes. But each and every individual in the world have different finger prints, including the twins. These fingerprints are formed because of the skin contact of the babies with the amniotic sac leaving patterns and ridges unique to everyone.
Twin birth is really common but risky as well. There are more complications and more chances of miscarriages. There are chances of pre-term deliveries and low birth weights as well. Advancing age increases likelihood of twin pregnancy. Mother’s age of about 30 to 40 years have a higher prevalence. Twin pregnancy runs in the family as well. Women with fertility treatments also usually result in twin birth. It seems interesting and fascinating seeing the twins and what they do and how similar they look. The twins may be both boys, both girls or a boy and a girl. Ratio of a boy and girl is the highest in twins reaching to about 50% of cases.