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What Are Fraternal Twins?



Fraternal twins occur when two individual eggs are fertilized by two individual sperm at the same time.

More Info: The term fraternal twins is something of a misnomer. Even though it suggests that there is some sort of identical link between the two siblings, fraternal twins are in fact no more alike than brother or sister born apart.

Dizygotic Twins

Also sometimes referred to by the biological term dizygotic, fraternal twins are the result of two separate female eggs impregnated by separate sperm. A better name for fraternal twins might be simultaneous siblings, because that’s all they really are. Though they share up to 50% of the same genes, they are no more similar in terms of their DNA make-up than siblings born in separate years are.

Famous Fraternal Twins

Keiffer Sutherland, actor, producer, and director, has a twin sister Rachel.

Ashton Kutcher, the actor and producer, has a fraternal twin brother named Michael.

Alanis Morissette, singer/songwriter, has a fraternal twin brother Wade.

Vin Diesel, of the Fast and Furious franchise of films, has a fraternal brother named Paul.

Giselle Bundchen, the supermodel who once dated Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, has a fraternal sister Patricia.



“Twin pregnancy: What multiples mean for mom –” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2010. <>.

Topeka Capital-Journal – “Twins Celebrate 95 Years of Life”, November 8, 2010, Retrieved November 11, 2010 from – Famous Twins, Retrieved November 11, 2010 from

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