Identical and Fraternal Twins

Identical and Fraternal Twins

Twins are two offspring resulting from the same pregnancy, either of the same or opposite sex. The general term for more than one offspring from the same pregnancy is multiples, for example triplets refers to cases of three offspring from the same pregnancy. A fetus alone in the womb is called a singleton. Twins are usually, but not necessarily, born in close succession. Due to the limited size of the mother's womb, multiple pregnancies are much less likely to carry to full term than singleton births, with twin pregnancies lasting only 37 weeks on average, 3 weeks less than full term.

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Identical Twins
These pairs, with their breathtaking similarities, come from the same egg and sperm. After the egg and sperm have joined, the resultant cell, called a zygote, starts to multiply into the millions of diverse cells that eventually compose a single baby. In identical twins, however, the resultant cell separates into two zygotes, each with the same genetic material. This kind of twinning happens in about one out of every 240 pregnancies. It takes place among all families and cultures and is not caused by fertility drugs.
Fraternal Twins
Fraternal Twins
On the other hand, fraternal twins are the result of two different eggs becoming fertilized by two different sperm. Although both zygotes share the same uterus, they are no more similar than any other set of siblings. This kind of twinning runs in families and is prevalent in certain ethnicities. Africa sees the highest incidence of fraternal twins; Asia, the lowest. Fertility drugs increase your chances of having this type of pair.
DNA Identification and Verification
DNA Identification and Verification
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