Black And White Twins Born To Bi-Racial Couple

James (left) and Daniel (right) Kelly/ Martin Godwin/ Guardian

James (left) and Daniel (right) Kelly/ Martin Godwin/ Guardian

Skimming through The Guardian this morning, I found this story of twins in different colors, despite having the same parents. While the phenomenon of James and Daniel Kelly isn’t totally abnormal, children will be the spitting image of one parent instead of the other all the time, but one kid looking white and the other looking black is pretty amazing and it’s all because their dad, Errol, is Jamaican.

“It wouldn’t really be possible for a black African father and a white mother to have a white child, because the African would carry only black skin gene variants in his DNA, so wouldn’t have any European DNA, with white skin variants, to pass on,” he explains.

“But most Caribbean people, though black-skinned, have European DNA because in the days of slavery, many plantation owners raped female slaves, and so introduced European DNA into the black gene pool.

“The thing about skin colour is that even a bit of African DNA tends to make a person’s skin colour black – so to be white, the child must have inherited more of the father’s European DNA with its white skin variants. Added to the mother’s European DNA, this led to a child with white skin – while his brother, who is black-skinned, inherited more of his father’s African DNA.

“The Caribbean father will have less European DNA than African DNA, so it’s more likely he’ll pass on African DNA – but rarely, and I’ve worked it out to be around one in 500 sets of twins where there’s a couple of this genetic mix, the father will pass on a lot of European DNA to one child and mostly African DNA to the other. The result will be one white child and one black.”

How crazy is that? Read more at The Guardian.

  • Simon Says

    The explanation seems to suggest that raping slaves was only common in The Caribbean and not so much elsewhere.  I think it’s safe to say it happened quite a bit in early America.