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7 Interesting Facts You May Not Have Known About Identical Twins

When we think of what we know about identical twins, there are the more well-known things, like the close bond they are meant to share and the similar brainwave patterns (there’s a thing called "twintuition"), but there are many other things about identical twins that are amazing and lesser known.

They do not have the same fingerprints. Identical twins may share the same DNA, but like everyone else in the world, they also have their own set of unique prints. According to sciencefocus.co (via BabyGaga), the reason for this is because"Fingerprints are formed semi-randomly as the fetus develops in the womb and are affected by such things as fluctuations of hormone levels.”

They are always the same sex, meaning that identical twins are always either two girls or two boys. According to Very Well Family, the reason for this is because “Identical (monozygotic) twins are always of the same sex because they form from a single zygote (fertilized egg) that contains either male (XY) or female (XX) sex chromosomes.”

They are not that common, with research showing just 1 in 250 pregnancies result in identical twins, BabyGaga reports.

Identical twins are alike in many ways, but what happens if you separate them? Will they become two completely different people? According to the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart, if twins are separated in infancy and grow up apart, they were just as similar with regards to personality, temperament, interests and social attitudes, as those who grew up together.

They live longer than fraternal twins, at least according to a study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, which examined the effects that close communication had on lifespan. The study was published in Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological and Medical Sciences and revealed that the close bond of identical twins, or rather the frequency of their communication, is the reason for longevity. What researchers found was that identical twins who communicated at least once a month lived longer than those identical twins who didn’t, and regardless of communication, identical twins lived longer than fraternal twins.

Although it should be noted that the difference in median lifespan between identical and fraternal twins was less than two years.

They are alike in many ways, but they are still unique. The differences between identical twins have commonly be thought to be because of environmental factors, however, according to research conducted by geneticist Carl Bruder of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, these differences can also be genetic. Scientific American notes that the study found that the DNA of one twin “differed from the other's at various points on their genomes...”

There is a twin gene, sort of, but according to Very Well Family genetics only applies to the chances of having fraternal twins, not identical twins. The chances of a woman having fraternal twins are increased if her mother or sister had fraternal twins, but the same cannot be said of identical twins.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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