And little wonder. For it seems we begin even before we are born.
These remarkable images show twins apparently kicking each other in their mother’s womb.
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Kickboxing: The incredible video, pictured, shows twins fighting in womb
The smaller foetus, on the right, can be seen apparently kicking and punching the bigger sibling as if trying to create more space. Initially the larger one seems oblivious, but eventually retaliates by kneeing the other one.
Their tussle was captured on video using a highly specialised Magnetic Image Resonance scanner at Imperial College, London.
It is believed to have been taken at about 20 weeks into the pregnancy, although neither the sex of the twins nor the identity of the mother are known.
The images were taken as part of a project to monitor a rare condition called twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). Foetuses with the condition share the same placenta, and thus same blood supply.
MRI: The London hospital used a cinematic-MRI, pictured, to pick up the pictures of the siblings’ rough and tumble in the womb
Not harmonious: The twins are sen kicking each other in a quest for more space
One gets too much blood, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart failure, while the other doesn’t have enough. If left untreated up to 90 per cent of babies will die and those who live are likely to develop severe conditions such as kidney failure or cerebral palsy.
Dr Marisa Taylor-Clarke used the scans to monitor 24 sets of twins with TTTS.
She said: ‘What this lets us do is see their positions in relation to each other and how much space they have, how much space they occupy, how they might move and push each other out of the way.’
The scans – known as cine-MRI – create far more detailed images than ultrasounds. But Dr Taylor-Clarke said they should not be used in routine pregnancies. ‘We may pick up conditions that we couldn’t interpret, which may be very stressful for women.’
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