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Mirror Twins (Mirror Picture Twins): Definition, Traits, Causes

What Are Mirror Twins?

Mirror twins, or mirror picture twins, is a time period used to explain a attribute of some twins whose options seem asymmetrically—that’s, on reverse sides. When these twins are going through one another, it’s as if they’re trying in a mirror.

You may hear somebody name their kids “mirror twins,” however the phrases do not seek advice from a scientific class. Most mirror twins truly fall into the class of an identical twins. Particularly categorizing multiples is necessary when contemplating zygosity, which is their genetic relationship.

Twins can both be monozygotic or dizygotic. Similar twins are monozygotic, that means they got here from a single, fertilized egg that cut up into two and developed into two embryos. Monozygotic twins have the identical genetic origins. These twins typically have comparable bodily traits and should even look precisely alike. Mirror picture twins make up 25% of monozygotic twins.

Traits of Mirror Twins

Mirror twins have sure bodily traits in widespread—these similarities are simply mirrored on reverse sides of their our bodies.

Bodily Traits

Potential traits that would look alike in mirror twins embody: birthmarks, moles, freckles, dimples, eye or eyebrow shapes, nostril or ear shapes, cowlicks, hair whorls, or tooth.

For instance, the same birthmark could manifest on the left facet of 1 twin and on the best facet of the opposite. Facial options similar to dimples could also be on reverse sides of the face. Cowlicks could run clockwise on one twin and counterclockwise on the opposite.

Gestures or Actions

Gestures or actions will also be manifestations of mirror picture twinning. For instance, one twin could also be right-handed and the opposite left-handed (though many twins, no matter zygosity, share this attribute). Moreover, one twin could desire to sleep on their left facet whereas the opposite prefers the best.

Medical Situations

In some excessive circumstances (that are exceptionally uncommon), mirror twins show situs inversus. On this situation, the inner organs (similar to the center, liver, lungs, or abdomen) are located on the alternative facet of the traditional anatomical place. An X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound evaluation can be utilized to establish the place of inside organs when situs inversus happens.

There are additionally much less severe medical situations which have a better probability of occurring with mirror twins. These situations may very well be benign or require surgical procedure to make them extra manageable:

  • Accent (additional) toes
  • Bone cysts
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Esotropia (eye misalignment)
  • Supernumerary (additional) tooth
  • Set off thumb, or having a thumb locked in a bent place

Facial asymmetry and irregular dental growth may be noticed in mirror picture twins.

Identification of Mirror Twins

There isn’t a check to verify mirror twinning. DNA evaluation solely confirms that twins’ genetic traits are comparable sufficient to be thought-about monozygotic or dissimilar sufficient to be dizygotic. Observing bodily options is de facto the principle approach to decide if twins are mirror twins.

Imaging and diagnostic assessments are used to establish different mirror picture twinning medical situations.

Causes of Mirror Twinning

As a result of mirror twins could happen with monozygotic twinning, it has been theorized (and disputed) that mirror picture twinning happens when the egg splits in a while throughout growth. This might occur greater than per week after conception, however not late sufficient in order that conjoined twins kind.

Many mirror picture twins show traits of different late-splitting monozygotic twins and are additionally monochorionic (twins who share a placenta) or monoamniotic (twins who share an amniotic sac) within the womb. In different phrases, these situations may very well be indicators of what causes mirror twins.

A Phrase From Verywell

There’s nonetheless a lot to study in regards to the causes of mirror twinning. Though it may possibly have a bigger danger related to sure medical situations, most of those eventualities should not trigger for main concern.

The truth is, being a mirror twin could be a supply of nice pleasure. Twins typically have particular bonds and, as a mum or dad, it may be particularly rewarding to see your mirror twins develop and develop in comparable, however nonetheless particular person, methods.


By Pamela Prindle Fierro

 Pamela Prindle Fierro is the writer of a number of parenting books and the mom of dual women. 

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