It's common for families to compare faces and delight -- or despair -- in strong resemblances. There's something inherently reassuring about being immediately identifiable as a member of a certain family. What's curious is why members of certain families seem to resemble each other more strongly than other families, and why identifiable traits seem to occasionally skip a generation.

Advertisement
Because babies share 50 percent of their DNA with each parent and sibling, there is almost an endless number of gene combinations. What emerges is partly a game of chance and partly a matter of genetic dominance -- which genes are passed is the random part, and how they partner up and interact with each other is an invisible dance taking place within our DNA.

But we all play the guessing game: Will Baby have the family's distinctive height, red hair or brown eyes? There's no way to tell for sure ahead of time, but you can learn a little about the genetic numbers game to narrow your guess. Parents.com offers this very general "formula" for calculating Baby's future height: for a boy, add 5 inches to the mother's height then average with the father's height; for a girl, subtract 5 inches from the father's height then average with the mother's.

An example of traits skipping a generation is illustrated in an article from Abroad in the Yard. Photos of the descendants of John Tyler, the 10th president of the United States, show his grandson taking after the president more strongly than even his son, yet bearing only a passing resemblance to his own brother. 

Check out the photos below for some amazing examples of striking family resemblances over various generations.

Mother and daughter

Uploading...

Great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandson

Uploading...

Great-grandmother and great-granddaughter

Uploading...

3 generations of women

Uploading...

Father and son

Uploading...

Father and daughter

Uploading...

Grandmother and granddaughter

Uploading...

Father and daughter

Uploading...

Grandfather and grandson

Uploading...
Source Unknown

Grandfather and grandson

Uploading...