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Q:

Are the Olsen twins identical or fraternal?

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Fraternal twins often look more alike than children who are just siblings. In addition to the 50% (according to probability) overlap in genes that all siblings have, they also benefit from the same maternal environment while in utero. Although this won't result in, say, the development of the same eye color, it does ensure that any subtle things caused by little quirks in the maternal environment will be shared by both twins. Also, people often get two people confused based on things other than actual static physical resemblance. Things like similar gestures and facial expressions can really amplify even a minor resemblance. For example, I am confused with my best friend all the time, despite the fact that we really don't look similar at all. Fraternal twins are very likely to share a lot of intangible things like that, since they often spend more time together than you would expect from siblings with a separation in age. Since they're constantly providing each other with non-verbal ... more
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It's perfectly possible for fraternal twins to look that much alike; I've been confused with my fraternal twin on numerous occasions. more
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One of the Olson twins is taller. When they were around twelve years old, the difference was particularly noticable. Since identical twins share the same genes, if Mary Kate and Ashley were identical, they should be the same height. more
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There are two ways to know--if the twins develop in the same amniotic sac, then they are almost positively identical. The only way to be certain is by DNA testing. more
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Dude, go to the source. Page 15 of Mary-Kate & Ashley: Our Story--Updated edition : The Official Biography, "by" Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen says "Even though the girls look so much alike, they are not identical twins. Mary-Kate and Ashley are fraternal twins. Fraternal twins sometimes look like each other, but they are not exactly the same. more
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How do you actually tell whether twins are identical or just fraternal? Actually, it's not so easy. With genetic testing, it's become easier in the past few years. But when my twin and I were born, in 1978, the doctors just said that my parents would have to wait and see if we ended up looking different. It wasn't clear for a few months if we were identical or not -- our parents could tell us apart, but our grandparents could not. Ultimately, it became obvious. more
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Actually, Google finds numerous articles from places like the Washington Post, the New York Daily News and E! Online that say they're fraternal. more
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I remember hearing about a rare case of "half" identical twins. Rather than having one zygote split into two identical zygotes, this was a situation where one unfertilized egg split into two identical eggs, which were subsequently fertilized by two separate sperm cells. In other words, the kids' mother's genetic material was identical, but their fathers' contributions differed. The kids looked a lot alike, but were not technically identical. Does anyone else have confirmation on this? more
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widdershins, they're fraternal - no more surprising than a similar difference between siblings. I'm surprised they're not identical twins, though. Haven't some of their movies been the kind of "trading places" things that depend on identity switching options traditionally available only to genetically identical sisters? Weird. How do you actually tell whether twins are identical or just fraternal? There's no little trick! Identical twins have identical DNA and come from the same fertilized egg, that then splits into two early in the pregnancy. So the two share one amniotic sac, and were actually the same being for at least a few weeks there. Fraternal twins are when two different eggs get fertilized at the same time, and both survive. more
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Me and my twin brother turned 13 on Christmas Day, we  are very rare because we're what is known as "half-identical twins",  Rather than having one zygote split into two identical zygotes, this was a situation where one unfertilized egg split into two identical eggs, which were subsequently fertilized by two separate sperm cells.

So basically,  our mother's genetic material was identical, but our fathers' contributions differed.

And even though we're half-identical twins, we're still mirror image. I always get muddled up with my twin brother, and he often gets mistaken for me. Simple.

No, the olsen twins are Fraternal Twins (non-identical). Just because they look alike doesn't mean their identical, You can be an identical twin and look nothing like your brother/sister.

Daniel Robertson · answered over a year ago
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