Identical twins are a key plot element in my newest thriller "Blood Sisters", and I learned a lot of fascinating facts about them while doing my research. Did you know that identical twins don't have the same fingerprints? Or that they typically live longer than their fraternal brothers and sisters?
Identical twins are also called monozygotic twins, meaning there is only one fertilized egg. They occur when the egg splits in two shortly after fertilization, and each half then grows into a baby. These identicals start out with the same DNA roadmap, but go through many genetic changes early in their development, which means they can end up looking a little different from each other. They are also frequently not the same weight and length at birth due to different factors that can affect each twin's respective growth in their mother's womb.
Some of the more fascinating findings I uncovered include the fact that identical's brainwave patterns are nearly exact matches to each other and, even if separated at birth, they wind up being eerily similar. In the "Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart" that was conducted over the course of twenty years, evidence was found that even when separated at an early age and raised in different environments, identical twins can often end up with shockingly similar character traits and personal preferences.
Some of these fascinating facts about identical twins came into play in the development of the antagonist in my new murder mystery.