Acquired And Inherited Traits

The complex interaction of inherited and acquired features weaves the diversity and adaptability of living things into the fabric of life. These basic biological ideas provide insight into how traits are inherited and how experiences and surroundings can shape an individual’s traits. These two separate but related aspects of features influence everything in the biological world, from the color of a butterfly’s wings to the fluency of human speech.

Acquired And Inherited Traits

The blueprint of an organism is defined by inherited qualities, which are frequently stored in DNA. These traits determine characteristics like blood type, eye color, and susceptibility to particular diseases. Conversely, acquired characteristics are shaped by life’s experiences; this is true whether an athlete gains their skill via intense training or a language learner refines their language abilities through repetition and exposure.

Well, in this article, I’ll be discussing Acquired And Inherited Traits and the Difference between Acquired and Inherited Traits


Acquired Traits

The character that an individual develops as a result of external influences is known as an acquired trait. Since these characteristics are not encoded in a living organism’s DNA, they cannot be inherited by subsequent generations.

Examples of Acquired traits:

  • When a person learns to ride a bike, it is an acquired trait.
  • Reading books, developing skills, etc are examples of Acquired traits.
  • Acquired behavior traits are commonly seen in tasks such as playing musical instruments, and training dogs (teaching him tricks).
  • Acquired behavior traits can also be seen when a student studies.
  • Scars are also an example of acquired physical traits.
  • Hormonal changes during puberty are also examples of acquired traits that cannot be passed to future generations.
  • Muscles developed after bodybuilding and working out are examples of acquired traits.

Inherited Traits

These are the characteristics that children inherit from their parents. Humans inherit characteristics such as hair, complexion, eye color, body shape, height, and susceptibility to certain diseases. An individual’s genes dictate their inherited qualities.

In the human body, a single cell has between 25,000 and 35,000 genes. The characteristics that a person inherits from his parents are carried by these genes.

Through his studies with the pea plant, Gregor Mendel provided an explanation of the idea of inherited qualities. He illustrated the difference between the visible and invisible qualities in a phenotypic, referring to the former as dominant traits and the latter as recessive traits.

Examples of inherited traits:

  • Physical characteristics like dimples and curly hair are frequently thought to be inherited. Future generations inherit these characteristics. Furthermore, the human person has control over these learned characteristics.
  • Another possible cause of Green/Red Color Blindness is inheritance. It’s likely that a child with color blindness will experience the same problems as their parent.
  • A child inherits certain characteristics from both parents, such as skin tone, blood type, and eye color.
  • In certain instances, having a certain height is inherited. However, other research suggests that height is not a hereditary characteristic. This is so because the human body’s height is the result of the combination of over 700 genes. Thus, it is inappropriate to think about height as something that is inherited on the basis of just one gene.

Mendel used the following inheritance laws to define hereditary traits:

  • Law of Dominance: When an adult possesses two distinct character types, only one of them manifests in the progeny of F1, and this form is referred to as the dominant trait; the other form, which remains unexpressed, is referred to as the recessive trait.
  • Segregation law: Despite one allele not being present in the F1 generation, the alleles exhibit no mixing and are restored as such in the F2 generation.
  • Law of Independent Assortment: The segregation of one pair of characters during gamete development is independent of the other pairs of characters when two pairs of features are recombined.

Difference Between Acquired And Inherited Traits

Acquired and inherited traits are fundamental concepts in biology, but they differ in their origin, transmission, and characteristics. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between these two types of traits:


Inherited Traits: These traits are determined by an organism’s genetic material, primarily DNA. Inherited traits are passed down from parents to offspring through the process of reproduction. They are coded in an organism’s genes and are relatively stable over time.

Acquired Traits: Acquired traits are characteristics that an organism develops during its lifetime due to environmental influences, experiences, or learning. They are not encoded in the organism’s genetic material and are not passed on to offspring.


Inherited Traits: Inherited traits are passed from one generation to the next through genetic inheritance. Offspring inherit their genetic traits from their parents, which leads to the continuation of certain traits within a species.

Acquired Traits: Acquired traits are not passed on to offspring. They are specific to an individual and do not affect the genetic makeup of future generations.


Inherited Traits: Inherited traits tend to be relatively stable over time. They are determined by an organism’s genetic code and are not easily influenced by changes in the environment during an individual’s lifetime.

Acquired Traits: Acquired traits can change during an individual’s lifetime in response to environmental factors and experiences. These changes are not necessarily permanent and can vary between individuals.


Inherited Traits: Examples of inherited traits include eye color, blood type, certain genetic diseases, and the structure of limbs in animals.

Acquired Traits: Examples of acquired traits include language skills, musical proficiency, physical fitness, and learned behaviors in animals.

Genetic Basis

Inherited Traits: Inherited traits have a genetic basis and are determined by specific genes and alleles within an organism’s DNA.

Acquired Traits: Acquired traits do not have a genetic basis and are not determined by an organism’s DNA. They are shaped by environmental factors and individual experiences.


In summary, acquired traits, shaped by an individual’s environment and experiences, exist alongside inherited traits, which are determined by an organism’s genetic code and passed from one generation to the next. These two types of traits, distinct in their origin and stability, collectively contribute to the complexity, diversity, and adaptability of living organisms. Their coexistence illustrates the intricate balance between genetic inheritance and individual responses to the environment, enriching the tapestry of life.

Write A Comment