Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Identical Differences

People ask me all the time how I am able to tell my boys apart.
I can't imagine why they think this would be an issue ;)

But there are have been times I have had to pause and look, and even some instances when I have gotten it wrong. I feel horrible when I get it wrong. At the same time, their genes are the same, so when they have a difference, I wonder why. But I am very grateful for those differences.

I do believe each has their own "look," but that is hard to put in to words.

One definite difference is Adam's face is fuller & wider, while Matthew's is longer and slimmer. Another difference is Adam has a birthmark on his upper right thigh, Matthew does not.

Their unchanging, proven difference though, is on their right ears.
Adam's Ear
Matthew's ear.

Notice Matthew's "point" on the helix of his ear, where Adam's helix is just smooth.

I researched this difference for this post, because I didn't know what to call this "point". Apparently it is called a Darwin's tubercle because Darwin first discovered/named it. Apparently there is a dominant gene for this feature, and it occurs in 10% of the population.

Wait. A dominant gene, but my two identical boys don't have the same feature??

Well, apparently this gene has "incomplete penetrance" meaning "those who possess the gene will not necessarily possess the ear tubercle." (All quoted from Wikipedia.) Case in point, my two identical boys with different ears.

Interesting, no?


tia Marta said...

Thanks, Krystal. Good to know those differences, esp the ear one. I think Sofia has an ear like that. I recall when she was born her ears folded in that area and little by little it bloomed. Maybe not to its full capacity. I will have to check next time I see her.

Shelly Cunningham said...

I recently discovered my three year old identical twin boys have different toes. Logan has one that curls under his second toe, and Jack does not. On either foot. Had me stumped. Glad to know I'm not alone in having "non-identical" identicals! Hehe!