Great things come in pairs, so they say. This week, Tidbits shares some truths about twins.

• About one-third of all twins are identical, or monozygotic. This means they were formed from a single fertilized egg that splits into two. When it splits, there are either two males or two females. It’s a very small window of time for the split to It must happen during the first 14 days after conception, or it won’t happen! Fraternal twins are formed from two separate eggs, fertilized separately. The combination can be two males, two females or one of each.

• In the United States, the birthrate for twins is about 3 percent. Approximately 70 percent of twins are the result of fertility treatments. In America, one in 50 people is a dizygotic (fraternal) twin, and one in 150 is a monozygotic (identical) twin. If a woman is a fraternal twin, she has about a one in 17 chance of giving birth to twins. Each year, about 140,000 babies bom in the United States are part of a set of twins. Over 50 percent of those are born prematurely.

• Several celebrities have a twin sibling, including Scarlett Johansson, who has a twin brother Hunter, and Vin Diesel, whose twin brother is a film editor. Kiefer Sutherland’s twin sister is also in the movie business, as a post-production supervisor and casting assistant. Ashton Kutcher’s fraternal twin brother is afflicted with cerebral palsy and had a heart transplant as a youth.

• Other celebrities are parents of twins, such as singers Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez, and film stars Julia Roberts, Michael J. Fox, Denzel Washington, Mary & Kate Olsen and Mel Gibson.

• The correct term for Siamese twins is “conjoined” twins. These occur when the babies do not fully separate from each other because the division of the fertilized egg is incomplete.

Source: “Tidbits” of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Dania. The Neatest Little Newspaper Ever Read.

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