conjoined twins

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conjoined twins,

congenitally united organisms that are complete or nearly complete individuals, historically known as Siamese twins. They develop from a single fertilized ovum that has divided imperfectly; complete division would produce identical twins, having the same sex and general characteristics. Conjoined twins remain attached at the abdomen, chest, back, or top of the head, depending on where the division of the ovum has failed. In some instances the individuals are joined only by a band of musculofibrous tissue and can be separated surgically, but in other instances they share vital organs and separation may not be possible. Sometimes an ovum divides in such a way that an organism develops having one body and two heads, or one head and two sets of limbs. About half of all conjoined twins are stillborn, and many die within a week or so of birth. When they do survive, fatal illness in one dooms the other unless separation is possible. The name Siamese twins derives from the most famous of conjoined male twins, Chang and Eng, born in Siam (Thailand) of Chinese parents in 1811. They were exhibited in Barnum's circus for many years; although never separated, they married and fathered a total of 22 children. They died within 2 hours of each other in 1874. See also multiple birthmultiple birth,
bringing forth of more than one offspring at birth. Although many smaller mammals bear several young at a time, multiple births are relatively uncommon in humans and other primates.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Thoracopagus conjoined twins with a fused heart always have complex abnormal cardiac anatomy (4-7).
Aled and Laura Williams (pictured on their wedding day) will move from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, back to Aled's roots on Ynys Mon following the deaths of their conjoined twins Faith and Hope to make a fresh start
Their mother, 18-year-old Laura Williams, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, is Britain's youngest mother to give birth to conjoined twins.
Mrs Williams, 18, from Shrewsbury, became the youngest mother of conjoined twins when she gave birth by caesarean section.
Their mother, 18-year-old Laura Williams, from Shrewsbury, is Britain's youngest mother to give birth to conjoined twins.
Doctors in Chennai are at the brink of a major surgical milestone as they prepare to separate nine-month-old conjoined twin toddlers from Tanzania, in a rare, record-setting surgery.
Summary: Conjoined twin babies with a single body and two heads have been shown to the media at a hospital in southwestern China.
FAITH Williams, the baby separated from her conjoined twin, is recovering from a second life-saving operation, reports say.
A 24-year-old woman from quake-hit Kashmir has given birth to conjoined twin girls after a marathon journey from her mountain village to a hospital.
Craniopagus (meaning joined at the skull) twinning is the rarest form of conjoined twins, accounting for just 2% of all conjoined twin births.
A BABY who survived surgery to separate her from her conjoined twin remained "a very sick little girl" last night.
A pair of infant conjoined twin girls fused at the lower back were successfully separated during an operation in Singapore yesterday.