We as human beings are fascinated with twins. Myths and folk knowledge about twins are easy to find, and some cultures believe they're a good-luck omen.
However, for more and women, twins are moving out of the realm of myth and into reality. Twin birth rates have skyrocketed in recent years due to the increasing use of fertility treatments and the fact that more women are giving birth after 30, which increases the chance of having multiples. So just in case your new arrival turns out to be two new arrivals, here's a breakdown of myths and facts about twins:
- Myth: Identical twins have all the same DNA. It's easy to see why people would believe this, since identical twins do share about 99.99 percent of their DNA, but there is that tiny percentage that's different. Identical twins often have slightly different patterns of moles and birthmarks as a result of this small genetic difference.
- Myth: Identical twins have the same fingerprints. Thankfully for all the identical twins out there whose twins have ever committed a major crime, twins do have different fingerprints. Fingerprints develop in reaction to environmental factors in the womb and aren't ruled by genetics.
- Fact: Dogs can smell the difference between identical twins. The family dog will probably be better than you are at distinguishing your newborn twins at first. Dogs have been shown to be able to tell the difference between identical twins by smell, even when they lived in the same house with one another.
- Part myth, part fact: Twins run in families. Hyper-ovulation, or the tendency to produce more than one egg, in women can be passed down in families, making fraternal twins more likely, but no such hereditary component exists for identical twins.
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