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I'm sorry if this seems like a silly question, but I was brushing up on some cell cycle dynamics and realized that everyone was talking about the differences between metaphase I and II, and since metaphase II was so different from metaphase I (random orientation, tetrad, etc...) the distinguishing of the two didn't seem difficult.

However, I also always hear that metaphase II is similar to mitotic metaphase. In fact, I can't really figure out what the observable difference would be, though I'm certain this must be possible?

How exactly is metaphase II of meiosis different from metaphase of mitosis? I'm sorry if this seems like a silly question, but I haven't been able to figure it out.

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I assume you want a differentiating element other than counting the number of chromosomes(i.e. assuming we do not know the haploid chromosome number of the cell)? –  Satwik Pasani Oct 7 '13 at 6:50
    
@SatwikPasani That is indeed correct. –  Slater Tyranus Oct 7 '13 at 9:22
    
I'm inclined to agree with @SatwikPasani. I think you really can only know the difference by knowing what comes before and after (context clues). If you are observing at the mRNA level, then there are some signaling differences, but the appearance down a scope would be quite similar. –  Atl LED Oct 8 '13 at 2:17
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