Twins have long fascinated people worldwide with their unique bond and intriguing genetic makeup. Yet, despite 31.2 sets of twins being born per 1,000 live births in the States, there often needs to be more clarity regarding understanding the difference between identical and fraternal twins (despite their popularity!).
So, if you’ve always wanted to understand the difference, you’re in luck! This article explores the characteristics that set identical and fraternal twins apart. From defining what identical/fraternal twins are to identifying twin characteristics, keep reading to gain a better insight into the world of twins.
What Are Identical Twins?
Identical twins occur when a fertilized egg splits into two embryos within the first two weeks after conception. Identical twins share the same genetic material and, as a result, have nearly similar physical features and characteristics. They are always of the same sex and have the same blood type.
Do Identical Twins Have Any Characteristics?
Identical twins look remarkably similar and often have nearly indistinguishable physical features, such as facial structure, hair color, and eye color. They also tend to have similar health conditions and susceptibility to certain diseases. Additionally, identical twins may exhibit comparable personality traits and behaviors due to their genetic makeup.
What Are Fraternal Twins?
Fraternal twins occur when two separate eggs are fertilized by two different sperm. Fraternal twins can be of the same or different sexes, like any other siblings. They share about 50% of their genetic material, like any siblings born to the same parents.
How Can You Determine If Twins Are Identical/Fraternal?Many factors can influence the likelihood of twins, from family history and maternal age to fertility treatments and ethnic background. It is thought that Identical twins occur randomly; on the other hand, fraternal twins are likelier to appear in families who have experienced multiple pregnancies.
If you’re pregnant and expecting twins, an ultrasound scan can be used to determine whether your babies are identical. However, this isn’t always possible, as sometimes it isn’t apparent whether twins are identical until their physical features can be assessed.
One guaranteed way expecting parents can determine whether their expecting identical or fraternal twins is by taking a zygosity DNA test (also known as a twin DNA test) from providers like AlphaBiolabs.
To learn more about identical vs fraternal twins, consider visiting their website, where you can take advantage of their handy online resources, browse their tests, read customer reviews, etc., and understand more about the difference between identical and fraternal twins today.
What Are The Characteristics of Fraternal Twins?
Unlike identical twins, fraternal twins may look similar but can also have noticeable physical differences. For instance, they may have different hair colors, eye colors, and facial features. Fraternal twins may also have different personalities and behavioral traits, as their genetic makeup is not identical.
What Role Does Genetics Play?
The critical difference between identical and fraternal twins lies in the process of fertilization. Identical twins result from a single fertilized egg splitting into two, while fraternal twins result from fertilizing two separate eggs. This difference determines the level of genetic similarity between the twins.
Are There Any Factors That Can Influence Twinning?
Many factors can influence the likelihood of twins, from family history and maternal age to fertility treatments and ethnic background. It is thought that Identical twins occur randomly; on the other hand, fraternal twins are likelier to appear in families who have experienced multiple pregnancies.