Monozygotic Twin Wolves with Divergent Life Histories

  • Lindsey Carmichael
  • John A. Nagy
  • Curits Strobeck
Keywords: wolf, Canis lupus, monozygotic twin, identical twin, Banks Island, dispersal, migration, life history

Abstract

Genetic evidence for monozygotic (identical) twinning in mammalian species is rare in the literature. Here we report what may be the first pair of monozygotic twins identified in a wild caniform carnivore, the grey wolf (Canis lupus). One of these individuals remained in its natal population of Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, while its twin migrated across the polar sea ice to the mainland. This suggests divergent life history strategies in genetically identical individuals, making this incidence of twinning particularly interesting.

Published
2009-08-25