Difference Between Twins and Clones

Twin and Clone have many differences. In one pregnancy if two offspring’s are produced they are called as twins. Twins are of two types; Identical twins and Fraternal twins. Identical twins are the ones who are similar in both genotype and phenotype. They resemble each other. The identical twins are born from the same zygote that has split and formed two embryos. However fraternal twins are born when two ovum are fertilized by two separate sperms. They do not resemble as strongly and differ in their chromosomal make up. Clones develop from single adult cell taken from the mother.


Twins are born when the ovum is fertilized by the sperm and the zygote thus formed splits into two to form two embryos or when two different ova are fertilized by two different sperms. They are called as identical and fraternal twins respectively. The identical twins as they develop from the same zygote are similar in their genotype and have perfect resemblances to each other.They are also of the same sex. The fraternal twins do not resemble each other both genotypically and phenotypically like any other siblings. They are siblings of the same age. They can be either all male twins, all female twins or male -female twins.


Cloning is a method of producing an organism with an exact genetic copy of another. Identical twins are natural clones. Clones are produced artificially in a Petri dish rather than in the mother’s womb. The embryo produced in the lab is manually separated into individual cells and are allowed to grow. Once the embryos are formed it is implanted in the surrogate mother’s womb where they complete the term and finally delivered. As in case of identical twins in this case also all the embryos come from the same zygote and hence are genetically identical.

The other method of producing clones is by using somatic cells. The somatic cells have two sets of chromosome unlike germ cells which has only one set of chromosome. The somatic nucleus is isolated and inserted in the germ cell whose nucleus has been removed. The two chromosomes are made to fuse using some techniques and then it was seen to behave like freshly formed zygote.

Difference between Twins and Clones

1. Twins are naturally formed whereas clones are artificially formed.

2. The twins are a result of splitting of one egg into two parts whereas clones are derived from a foreign egg implanted with the DNA of the donor.

3. Twins are born at the same time whereas clones are created later.

4. Clones can be developed from a single somatic cell taken from the mother but twins can be formed from chromosome from both mother and father cells.

5. The somatic cell clone formed does not contain Y chromosome and hence are always female whereas in case of twins it can be either male or female twins.


The identical twins and clones have same genotype and resemble strongly with each other. However, the clones are genetically similar but the clone is younger than the one cloned from. Identical twins are natural where as clones are always the results of genetic manipulation.