Parenting|twins

Are Identical Twins Really Identical?

identical twins

When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I started researching and asking questions. When I found out, after having the boys, that they were identical, I researched even more. In all the research I found that identical twins aren’t 100% identical!

identical twins

Identical twins are the result of one egg becoming fertilized and separating. It’s a genetic mutation. Crazy, huh? That would lead you, and everyone else to assume that the two babies would therefore be completely identical. However, identical twins do not have identical genes. The true identical part of identical twins is the mitochondrial dna. Since each babies genes mutate and grow at different rates, you get varying genes in each baby.

Where we were told that identical twins had identical fingerprints, we were told wrong. Take my boys for instance. While I know without a doubt they are identical twins, they have several differences.

identical twins

Connor and Colton are mirror image identical twins. Sounds like they could look at each other and it would seem they were looking in a mirror. But in the end of the story, mirror image simply means that their internal organs mirror each other. And their hair twirls go in opposite directions. Colton’s heart is a limit more to the left than Connor’s. Does that help paint the picture of mirror image more? When giving blood, if their dna was analyzed, it would appear at first glance to be the same person. But if you look further and pull it apart, you would find differences.

Scientist are unsure why exactly. Many feel it is caused by nature vs. nurture. One twin from a set of identical twins could be more susceptible to cancer or allergies. My boys have distinguishing marks. Connor has a mole on his wrist that Colton does not have. If they were truly 100% identical then Colton should have the same mark. Another difference- Colton is allergic to red dye. Connor isn’t.

identical twins

The science behind identical twins is fascinating. Each year new discoveries are being made about these miracle mutations. And with each discovery more and more is being revealed to prove that identical doesn’t necessarily mean identical. One scientist even suggested that they no longer be called identical, but instead be caked one-egg twins. Which is a more accurate description. Just doesn’t sound as cool.

Whether you have identical or fraternal twins, it is important to remember that each child is an individual and should be treated as such. They will have different interest, different friends, different lives. And that is the way it should be!

identical twins

Do you have twins? Are they identical or fraternal?

brandibest