Tampa Bay| The case of four 1-year old brothers from Florida, who were born from the samepregnancy but of four different colors, continues to mystify the scientists who have been studying the boys. The sons of single mother Sheila Wilkinson, appear to have taken all the traits of only onerace each, and they all have a different skin color.
Although this kind of phenomenon has been observed in the past with twins on some very rare occasions, it is the first case of multicolored quadruplets ever known to have existed. The 23-year old mother got pregnant during the 2012 Springbreak while partying in Louisiana. She admits she had multiple sexual partners over a short time period at and that she is not certain who the father of her children is. The boys were born on December 7th at the Tampa General Hospital, instantly attracting a lot of attention from the world’s media and also from the scientific community. They are named Jason, Timothy, Anthony and William. 

The geneticians who have studied the boys’ case, believe that they could be the offspring of four different fathers, a phenomenon called heteropaternal superfecundation. Fraternal (dizygotic) twins are the result of hyper ovulation, which means the release of multiple eggs in a single cycle. Superfecundation describes a situation where the eggs are fertilized by sperm from separate incidences of sexual intercourse. In a case where a woman has sex with different partners, the twins could have different fathers.
In another case well documented case of multicolored twins, one parent was white and one was black, and – as can happen with any fraternal twins – Lauren took after her mother, Alison Spooner, while Hayleigh took after her father, Dean Durrant. What makes this family so remarkable is that this happened not once but twice, seven years apart. British researchers calculated that the odds of two sets of “black and white twins” in the same family are about 2 in a million.


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