Why Are Twins Fingerprints Not Identical?
Two siblings who are born in a single birth or in a single abdomen are called twins. The belief that twins have identical fingerprints is a misconception. While identical twins share many physical characteristics, each person has their own unique fingerprint.
Twins are of two types:
Fraternal twins (fraternal twins)
Identical twins (identical twins)
Fraternal twins may not look alike. Although some twins are indistinguishably similar in appearance, they may have differences in genetic structures and DNA sequences.
Fraternal Twins (Dizygotic Twins)
Fraternal twins develop from two separate eggs and two different sperm, i.e. two separate zygotes. During their development, there are 2 separate placentas and 2 separate umbilical cords. According to the Minnesota Twin and Family Research Center, fraternal twins have 50 percent of their DNA (genes) identical. Fraternal twins (fraternal twins) may not look alike much because they do not share more DNA than non-twins born at different times, it is possible that one is a boy and the other is a girl. The same is not possible for identical twins.
Identical Twins (Monozygotic Twins)
Identical twins develop when a single egg is fertilized by a single sperm and then splits into two. During development, a single placenta is formed. However, there are two umbilical cords. Identical twins have the same genetic makeup because they consist of a single zygote. Identical twins share many physical similarities as a result of their DNA, including hair color, eye color, and skin tone. In fact, it can be said that one identical twin is a mirror of the other. Environmental factors can make slight differences in the physical appearance of identical twins, although other people may not be able to tell them apart. The main differences are mostly observed in weight and height. Fingerprints are not included in the genetic similarities of identical twins. So fingerprints of identical twins are close but not identical. The reason for this is that the formation of fingerprints depends on both genetics and environmental factors in the womb.
Could Twins Have the Same Fingerprints?
The probability of finding the same fingerprint in identical twins is almost non-existent. While articles shared online often discuss the possibility that some of the things science explains may be wrong, no research has been found that identical twins can have identical fingerprints.
According to the Washington State Twin Registry, identical twins have similar fingerprint features, including loops, knots, and belts. However, observing such similarities with the naked eye does not mean that the fingerprint composition is exactly the same.
In fact, the National Center for Forensic Science and Technology states that no one, including identical twins, can be identified as having the same fingerprint as someone else. Also, the marks on the tips of each of a person’s fingers are completely unique, even though they have similar folds, loops, and arches. In order to match the fingerprints found at the crime scene with any person, the police take the prints of all 10 fingers separately, taking the prints of a single finger does not work. Why Aren’t the Fingerprints of Twins Identical?
How Are Fingerprints Formed?
A person’s fingerprints are formed in the womb based on a combination of genes and environmental factors. Fingerprint patterns are determined between 13 and 19 weeks of fetal development, according to the Washington State Twin Registry. Fingerprints, along with other physical characteristics, are an example of a phenotype, that is, determined by the interaction of a person’s genes and the developmental environment in the uterus.
The partial determination of fingerprints by DNA explains why identical twins appear to have similar fingerprints at first. Environmental factors in the uterus contribute to the development of fetal fingerprints by ensuring that the fingerprints of identical twins are not the same.
As a result, fingerprints of identical twins may have similarities in loops, knots, and lasso. But upon closer inspection, small details become noticeable, including the ridges in the fingerprint and the gaps between the branches. It is seen that it is impossible for identical twins to have the same fingerprints due to environmental factors affecting the development in the uterus.