Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Dizygotic (DZ)

  • Sanjay DasEmail author
  • Akash Gautam
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_24-1



In the course of fertilization, when two sperms fertilize two mature ova due to multiple ovulation under the control of hypothalamo-pituitary-ovarian axis promoted by different physiological, genetic, and other environmental factors, including the use of advanced reproductive technologies to maximize reproductive success.


The word “twins” originates from old English: “twi” means two or “twin” means double. Twin babies are although less frequent but not rare in parallel with the single child. Dizygotic (DZ) or fraternal twins are produced from two different ova fertilized by two different sperms whereas monozygotic (MZ) or identical twins derive from a single ova dividing into two separate embryos. Conjoint twins are also identical but not separated. Compare to the prevalence of monozygotic twins which is almost constant, the prevalence of dizygotic twins varies over time across the different places in the world. In...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Anderson, D. J. (1990). On the evolution of human brood size. Evolution, 44, 438–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asklund, C., Jensen, T. K., Jørgensen, N., Tabor, A., Sperling, L., & Skakkebæk, N. E. (2007). Twin pregnancy possibly associated with high semen quality. Human Reproduction, 22, 751–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayman, A. H., Moshynska, O., Saxena, A., & Feyles, V. (2000). Association between mutations of the follicle-stimulating-hormone receptor and repeated twinning. The Lancet, 356(9233), 914.Google Scholar
  4. Basso, O., Nohr, E. A., Christensen, K., & Olsen, J. (2004). Risk of twinning as a function of maternal height and body mass index. Journal of American Medical Association, 291, 1564–1566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bogdanova, N., Siebers, U., Kelsch, R., et al. (2010). Blood chimerism in a girl with Down syndrome and possible freemartin effect leading to aplasia of the Müllerian derivatives. Human reproduction, 25(5), 1339–1343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bortolus, R., Parazzini, F., Chatenoud, L., Benzi, G., Bianchi, M. M., & Marini, A. (1999). The epidemiology of multiple births. Human reproduction update, 5(2), 179–187.Google Scholar
  7. Bulmer, M. G. (1970). The biology of twinning in man. Oxford: Oxford Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  8. Busjahn, A., Knoblauch, H., Faulhaber, H. D., et al. (2000). A region on chromosome 3 is linked to dizygotic twinning. Nature Genetics, 26(4), 398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen, K., Chmait, R. H., Vanderbilt, D., Wu, S., & Randolph, L. (2013). Chimerism in monochorionic dizygotic twins: Case study and review. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, 161(7), 1817–1824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duffy, D. L., Montgomery, G. W., Hall, J., et al. (2001). Human twinning is not linked to the region of chromosome 4 syntenic with the sheep twinning gene FecB. American journal of medical genetics, 100(3), 182–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eriksson, A. (1962). Variations in the human twinning rate. Human Heredity, 12, 242–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eriksson, A. W., & Fellman, J. (2000). Seasonal variation of livebirths, stillbirths, extramarital births and twin maternities in Switzerland. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 3, 189–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Galton, F. (1876). The history of twins as a criterion of the relative powers of nature and nurture. Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 5, 391–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Greunlich, W. W. (1934). Heredity in human twinning. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 19, 391–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Imaizumi, Y. (1997). Trends of twinning rates in ten countries, 1972–1996. Acta Geneticae Medicae et Gemellologiae: Twin Research, 46(4), 209–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jernstrom, H., Knutsson, M., & Olsson, H. (1995). Temporary increase of FSH levels in healthy, nulliparous, young women after cessation of low-dose oral contraceptive use. Contraception, 52(1), 51–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kenneson, A., & Warren, S. T. (2001). The female and the fragile X reviewed. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 19(2), 159–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Li, Z., Gindler, J., Wang, H., Berry, R. J., et al. (2003). Folic acid supplements during early pregnancy and likelihood of multiple births: A population-based cohort study. The Lancet, 361(9355), 380–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lummaa, V., Haukioja, E., Lemmetyinen, R., & Pikkola, M. (1998). Natural selection on human twinning. Nature, 394(6693), 533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Meulemans, W. J., Lewis, C. M., Boomsma, D. I., et al. (1996). Genetic modelling of dizygotic twinning in pedigrees of spontaneous dizygotic twins. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 61(3), 258–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Montgomery, G. W., Duffy, D. L., Hall, J., et al. (2000). Dizygotic twinning is not linked to variation at the α-inhibin locus on human chromosome 2. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 85(9), 3391–3395.Google Scholar
  22. Montgomery, G. W., Duffy, D. L., Hall, J., Kudo, M., Martin, N. G., & Hsueh, A. J. (2001). Mutations in the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor and familial dizygotic twinning. The Lancet, 357(9258), 773–774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Montgomery, G. W., Zhao, Z. Z., Morley, K. I., Marsh, A. J., Boomsma, D. I., Martin, N. G., & Duffy, D. L. (2003). Dizygotic twinning is not associated with methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase haplotypes. Human Reproduction, 18(11), 2460–2464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nylander, P. P. S. (1971). Ethnic differences in twinning rates in Nigeria. Journal of Biosocial Science, 3(2), 151–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nylander, P. P. (1978). Causes of high twinning frequencies in Nigeria. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research, 24, 35–43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Nylander, P. P. (1981). The factors that influence twinning rates. Acta geneticae medicae et gemellologiae: twin research, 30(3), 189–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Parazzini, F., Chatenoud, L., Benzi, G., Cintio, E. D., Pino, D. D., Tozzi, L., & Fedele, L. (1996). Pregnancy: Coffee and alcohol intake, smoking and risk of multiple pregnancy. Human Reproduction, 11(10), 2306–2309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rosanoff, A. J. (1938). Manual of psychiatry and mental hygiene (7th ed. rewritten and enlarged). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  29. Rothman, K. J. (1977). Fetal loss, twinning and birth weight after oral-contraceptive use. New England Journal of Medicine, 297(9), 468–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shimasaki, S., Moore, R. K., Otsuka, F., & Erickson, G. F. (2004). The bone morphogenetic protein system in mammalian reproduction. Endocrine Reviews, 25(1), 72–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Trivers, R. L., & Willard, D. E. (1973). Natural selection of parental ability to vary the sex ratio of offspring. Science, 179(4068), 90–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vollset, S. E., Gjessing, H. K., Tandberg, A., et al. (2005). Folate supplementation and twin pregnancies. Epidemiology, 16(2), 201–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Weinberg, W. (1901). Beiträge zur physiologie und pathologie der mehrlingsgeburten beim menschen. Archiv für die gesamte Physiologie des Menschen und der Tiere, 88(6-8), 346–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Welt, C. K., Smith, P. C., & Taylor, A. E. (2004). Evidence of early ovarian aging in fragile X premutation carriers. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 89(9), 4569–4574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wyshak, G., & White, C. (1965). Genealogical study of human twinning. American Journal of Public Health and the Nations Health, 55(10), 1586–1593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Mental Health and NeurosciencesBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, School of Medical ScienceUniversity of HyderabadHyderabadIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jennifer Vonk
    • 1
  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA