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Sex Ratios Provide Evidence for Monozygotic Twinning in the Ring-Tailed Lemur, Lemur catta

  • John St Clair (a1), Roisin Campbell-Palmer (a2) and Richard Lathe (a1) (a3)

Abstract

Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

address for correspondence: Richard Lathe, Pieta Research, PO Box 27068, Edinburgh EH10 5YW, UK. E-mail: rlathe@pieta-research.org

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Sex Ratios Provide Evidence for Monozygotic Twinning in the Ring-Tailed Lemur, Lemur catta

  • John St Clair (a1), Roisin Campbell-Palmer (a2) and Richard Lathe (a1) (a3)

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