These scientists made perhaps the world’s cutest ever breakthrough, finding the world’s first known pair of identical twin puppies.
Scientists from the University of Pretoria in South Africa were presented with the pair after the mother dog’s owner brought them to her local vet, Kurt de Cramer .
They confirmed in a research paper that the male puppies are the first known identical twin dogs.
The paper said: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of monozygotic twinning in the dog confirmed using DNA profiling”.
The mother dog had been in labour for two hours with no results, so had to have a C-section.
Seven puppies were delivered, but there was a remaining bulge which appeared to be a puppy in a second placenta.
However, it turned out to be two puppies sharing the same placenta.
Mr de Cramer did blood tests on the pair and found they were identical.
“When I realised that the puppies were of the same gender and that they had very similar markings, I also immediately suspected that they might be identical twins having originated from the splitting of an embryo,” he told the BBC.
The research team did further tests when they were 6 weeks old, this time from their DNA, and found the same.
The puppies were genetically identical, and no other puppies in the litter shared similar genetics.
Researcher Carolynne Joone said that although these are the first ever identical twin puppies to be observed by humans, it’s possible more have been born.
She said some could have been delivered without sharing a placenta.
There have been rumors about twins in dogs before, she told the BBC. We just happened to be lucky enough to be able to confirm it genetically.
News Source TelegraphNews