Just east of Johannesburg, a pair of identical twins were born and they are the first of their kind in the world.
No, they weren’t joined by the hip, nor do they share the same eye-colour variation.
In fact, they aren’t even human.
The twins mother was an Irish Wolfhound.
The BBC gave a lovely account of the vet who delivered them and their siblings:
It seemed like a normal day for Kurt de Cramer, a vet in a busy veterinary practice in South Africa’s Rant en Dal Animal Hospital in Mogale City.
He was performing a Caesarean section on a female Irish wolfhound, who showed distress and prolonged abdominal straining when she was due to give birth. For de Cramer it was a routine event; he averages about 900 Caesarean sections each year.
But something was different about this delivery. When he started the procedure, de Cramer noticed that the wolfhound had an unusual bulging by her uterus.
At first, he thought the lump was excess fluid surrounding a foetus. De Cramer painstakingly extracted this foetus from the bulge by making an incision into the dog’s uterus.
That was when the real shock came. He found not one, but two foetuses. They were both attached with umbilical cords to the same placenta.
The five other puppies in the litter all had their own placenta.
Although de Cramer thought of them as twins at first, he needed reproductive specialists to confirm his suspicions. They used blood samples from the twins when they were two and six weeks old, and confirmed that De Cramer had indeed delivered the first known instance of monozygotic twin dogs.
The are not considered fully identical, as their marking on their fur are not the same. Nearly though.
Good luck out there, guys.
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