Twins, Triplets And More

Twins, Triplets And More

Charlotte Lussier, Dedicated Writer

For most of my childhood, I wanted a twin. I mean, a twin means an instant friend, right? But I am more interested in the science of twins, triplets and other multiple births.

There are two main types of twins: identical and fraternal. Identical twins are created when one sperm cell fertilizes an egg and the egg splits. Fraternal twins are created when two sperm cells fertilize two different eggs. Identical twins look exactly the same, while fraternal twins more often look like two siblings or even completely different.  The fraternal type of twins is genetic, unlike identical twins. Twins occur naturally in 1 in 250 births.

In total ,there are seven different types of twins. Some types are:

Mirror twins: They are mirror images of each other.  They are always identical twins, but no one is exactly sure how mirror twins are created.

Half-identical twins: Also called semi-identical twins. This happens when two sperm cells go into one egg and the egg splits. They  have some features of identical twins and some features of fraternal twins.

Triplets can be any combination of identical and fraternal twins, and the same goes for quadruplets and quintuplets. Quadruplets and quintuplets are very rare compared to twins and triplets. Triplets occur in 1 in 1,000 births. Quadruplets occur in 1 in 800,000 births, and quintuplets occur in 1 in 55,000,000 births.

I have seen a lot of twins in many of my years of school. I’ve always wondered what it felt like to be a twin. So I interviewed two teachers from Westlake. Mr. Laird, an 8th grade science teacher, and Ms. Kazeck, the social worker. They both have fraternal twin sisters.

Mr. Laird’s Answers

What is the best part about being a twin?

“The best part of having a twin is having a best friend who’s also your sister. I know I can count on her for anything. She would drop whatever she’s doing to come help me and I would do the same. ”

What are downsides of being a twin?

“None that I can think of. My sister has revealed some secrets on occasion.”

Any other comments about being a twin.

“Being a twin is truly rewarding and I’m incredibly grateful for my lovely sister.”

Ms. Kazeck’s Answers

What is the best part about being a twin? 

“The best thing about being a twin is having a built-in ride or die/best friend. My sister is my biggest advocate and the most supportive person in my family.”

What are downsides of being a twin?

“When we were about 13 years old we fought like crazy.”

Any other comments about being a twin.

“Every parent who has raised twins deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. Having two kids the same age is a rollercoaster. Even just keeping twins alive into adulthood takes a special kind of strength.”

Articles I used:

Multiple Birth:

Genetics of fraternal twins:

Different types of twins: