Identical vs Fraternal Twins How Are They Different
Have you ever wondered what it's like to have twins? Whether through nature or nurture, the idea of having two little ones simultaneously has always been fascinating. No matter what type of twins you have, understanding how they form and differ is a great way to ensure you give them both the best possible start in life.
Also known as monozygotic twins, identical twins are the most common type. They occur when a single egg is fertilized and split into two embryos after conception. Identical twins look nearly identical, though not wholly; they may have subtle differences in their facial features.
Dizygotic twins, as they're sometimes called, develop from two different eggs that are fertilized separately by two different sperm cells. Fraternal Twins usually share similar traits and physical characteristics but don't look exactly alike because they come from a separate egg and sperm combination.
Did you know that mirror twins make up a unique phenomenon? Even though they are fraternal twins, they have an uncanny resemblance. Mirror twins are rare and have many interesting characteristics, like having opposite ears, eyes, or dimples.
Mirror twins occur when two identical eggs are fertilized by two different sperm cells. This means that even though the identical eggs come from the same mother, they don't have the same genetic makeup. This occurrence is estimated to happen in up to one in 10,000 pregnancies.
They're the rarest type of multiple births, occurring only once every 200,000 pregnancies. While identical twins have the same DNA and fraternal twins don't, conjoined twins share a body and have partial or complete organs that are shared between them.
Conjoined twins can be separated through a complex surgery if possible, but it is not always safe. In some cases, the risks of separation are too high for the babies to survive.
There are three types of conjoined twins:
Thoracopagus is joined at the chest, sharing organs in the heart or lungs.
Omphalopagus: joined at their abdomen, sharing partial organs such as one liver or two livers that don't separate until adulthood.
Craniopagus is joined at the head, the most common form with shared veins and arteries connected to bodies with separate charges.
Sometimes, it is impossible to separate conjoined twins without endangering both babies' lives.
This rare occurrence happens when one embryo splits into two, meaning the twins have identical DNA but develop from separate embryonic sacs.
Congenital identical twinning is a fascinating occurrence that we still don't know much about. Further research is necessary to gain more insight into this rare phenomenon!