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Famous twins, and much more.
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US Facts and Figures
Fun Facts

Movies with Twins

The Biology of Twins

Identical twins (monozygotic) result when a single fertilized egg splits after conception. The resulting twins are the same sex and genetically alike, with similar foot and hand prints, but different fingerprints and teeth marks. The egg then splits into two genetically identical halves. They share 100% of their genes. Fraternal twins  (dizygotic) result when two eggs are released by the mother at the same time and each egg is fertilized by a different sperm. Fraternal twins can be of the same or opposite sex. They share up to 50% of their genes, and are no more alike or different than any two siblings would be, but there bond is just as special.

Half Identical Twins (Polar Body Twinning)
These twins occur when the mother's egg splits before fertilization and then each half is then fertilized by a sperm.

Twins of Two
They have different fathers and are formed when two eggs are released by the mother and each egg is fertilized by sperm from two different fathers.

Conjoined Twins
They are products of a single egg that for unknown reasons fail to divide fully into identical twins. One child in 50,000 is born connected to another. About 500 such babies are known to have survived their first year, and fewer than a dozen are living in the United States today.

Facts about conjoined twins

— Source: University of Maryland Medicine


945 A.D.
The first recorded pair of conjoined twins is born in Armenia. The twin boys are connected from the waist to the abdomen. One of the boys dies during a surgical attempt to separate them. The surviving twin dies three days later.

Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst are considered one of the more famous early documented pairs of conjoined twins. The sisters become known as the Biddenden Maids of Biddenden Kent, England. Illustrations depict the twins joined at the hip and shoulders, but reports suggest they are pygopagus twins -- joined at the posterior of the buttocks. The sisters live for 34 years. After the death of one sister, the other dies hours later, declaring, "As we came together, we will also go together."

German physician G. Konig performs the first recorded successful operation to separate a pair of conjoined twins.

One of the best-known cases of conjoined twins is that of Eng and Chang Bunker, who are born in Siam (now Thailand) -- hence the phrase "Siamese twins." They are joined at the waist by a tubular band of tissue about 3.25 inches long and about 1.5 inches in diameter. Most of their youth is spent working to support their mother. Their work as "The Siamese Double Boys" helps them accumulate a small fortune. The Bunker boys marry two sisters, Sallie and Adelaide Yates, and father 21 children between them. In 1874, Chang awakes to find Eng dead. Several hours later, Chang dies.

Millie and Christine McCoy are conjoined twins born into slavery in North Carolina. The two are separated from their family and sold several times. Their last owner reunites them with their family. Advertised as the "Two-Headed Nightingale" or "Two-Headed Lady," the twins are said to be fluent in five languages and perform all over the world as pianists, singers and dancers. In 1912, on their 61st birthday, Millie dies of tuberculosis. Christine dies the next day.

Los Angeles is the birthplace of conjoined twins Yvonne and Yvette MacArthur, who are fused at the head. They have separate brains but share a circulatory system. Financial problems from numerous medical bills drive the sisters' mother to put the girls into the circus for a few years.

The MacArthur sisters grow up to become successful gospel singers. At age 38, the two enroll in college to study nursing. Five years later, in 1993, the MacArthurs die, a few months shy of their graduation.

For more fabulous information: Facts about Multiples

Twins and Multiples Statistics

The number of births in twin deliveries rose 6 percent for 1997-98 to 110,670 births- the largest single year rise in several decades. The number of Triplet Births climbed to 6919, a rise of 13 percent. Births in quadruplet deliveries increased from 510 to 627 between 1997 and 1998: the number of quintuplet and other higher order multiples was unchanged at 79. Since 1980 twin births have risen 62 perecent and other higher order muliptles births have jumped 470 percent. The Twin birth rate has risen 5 percent for the current year and the Triplet birth rate has risen 11 percent. Both Twin and Triplet birth rates have risen steadily since 1980, by 49 and 423 percent respectively, but the pace of the increase has quickened in the 1990's. There are now over 500,000 multiples 5 and under in the U.S..

Two related trends have been associated with the rise in multiple births, especially with the rise of higher order multiples; older age at childbearing (women in their thirties are more likely than younger women to have a multiple birth, even without the use of fertility therapy), and the more widespread use of fertility-enhancing therapies (fertility drugs and techniques such as in vitro fertilization). These therapies have been associated with the remarkable upswing in multiple births of the 1980's and 1990's. A recent study estimates that about 80 percent of triplet births in 1996 and 1997 were the result of fertility techniques.

***All Information is directly from National Vital Statistics Reports - Volume 48, Number 3 - from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention****


Triplet Facts

Nearly 17 per cent of all-male triplets were born prematurely at less than 28 weeks. (A full-term pregnancy is 37 weeks.) If there were two males and one female in the triplets, less than 15 per cent were born before 28 weeks. And if the triplets consisted of all females or only one male, about 14 per cent were born before 28 weeks.

Kaminsky says researchers have proposed various explanations for the association between male gender and preterm birth. One possibility is differences in sex hormones.


Above Info came from: www.twinship.com

more fun info about Nigeria:

The World's Oldest Twins Who Ever Lived
The oldest twins ever documented are Eli Shadrack and John Meshak Phipps (USA) born on February 14, 1803 in Affington, Virginia. Eli died on February 23, 1911 at the age of 108 years; his brother John died on December 10, 1916 at the age of 113. The chance of identical twins both reaching and surpassing the age of 100 is about 1:700,000,000 (one in 700 million).
[ Editor's Note: Recent evidence has come to light subsequent to the publication of this edition of the Guinness Book of Records that throws this "Twin Claim" into serious doubt. More details later.]

The World's Oldest Triplets Who Ever Lived
The longest-lived triplets ever recorded were Faith, Hope, and Charity Cardwell (USA) who were born on May 18, 1899. Faith died first on October 2, 1994 age 95 years 137 days.

The World's Oldest Living Triplets
Marjory Skeaping (neé Scott), Sheila Botterill (neé Scott), and David Scott (UK) have been verified as the world's oldest living triplets. They were born in Edinburgh, SCOTLAND on May 19, 1920. Curiously, their Uncle, Aunt, and their Mother's First Cousin also celebrate their birthdays on May 19th.

The World's Oldest Living Quadruplets
The oldest quadruplets were The Ottmans (GERMANY). Adolf, Ann-Marie, Emma, and Elisabeth were born on May 5, 1912. All four quads lived to the age of 79. In November 2000, there were 992 sets of quadruplets worldwide. Identical quads are quite rare - only about 20 sets worldwide.

Tallest Female Twins in The World**
Heather & Heidi Burge -  6' 4 and 3/4
They were born in  1971, Palos Verdes, Calif  -

Tallest Male Twins in the World**

Michael & James Lanier
7' 4 born in Troy Michigan

Shortest Twins in the World**

John & Greg Rice
2'10  - reside in West Palm Beach, Florida

Longest time a twin has remain undiscovered**
7/97 - a fetus was discovered in the abdomen of a 16 year old - Hisham Ragab
of Egypt. A swollen sac found pressing against his kydney turned out to be
his 7 inch long, 4lb, 6oz identical twin

Longest Lived Conjoined Twins**

Chang & Eng Bunker from Siam (now Thailand). They were born 5/11/1811 and
they passed away within 3 hours of each other at the age of 63 on 1/7/1874

Ronnie & Donnie Gaylon are the oldest living male conjoined twins. They are
47 years old and live in Ohio. For 36 years they traveled in shows,
carnivals and the circus. They retired in 1991.

Heaviest Twins**

Billy and Benny Crary - Hendersonville, NC
They were normal in size until they were 6 years old. In 1978 Billy was 743
pounds and Benny was 723 pounds. Their waist measurement was 7 ft.

Largest Multiple Birth**
1971 - Dr Gennaro Montanino from Rome-Italy, claimed to have removed 15
fetuses from the uterus of a 35yr old woman after 4 months of pregnancy. A
fertility drug was responsible for these Quindecaplets.

***Above fun facts were referenced from the Guiness World Records 2000-Millennium Edition***


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