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As discussed earlier, 

Passing on of characteristics genetically from one generation to another is known as Heredity .



  • Observe different individuals around you,
  • People have different hair colors , different blood groups , different heights , different skin colors etc. These differ from person to person.
  • Characteristics are details of appearance or behavior ; in other words, a particular form or a particular function.
  • A trait is a characteristic specific to an organism .
  • If you have dimples , left handedness and brown eyes , then these are a few of your traits.


Some traits are inherited and some are acquired.

Inherited and Acquired traits

  • Inherited traits are passed on genetically from parents to their children .
    • For Example - The fur color of an animal is determined by the fur color of its parents.


  • Acquired traits cannot be inherited and are gained over the course of a life due to changes in living organisms caused after birth .
  • These causes may include disease, injury, accident, variation, environmental influence etc.
  • For Example - If the tails of a population of mice is cut, that population will have tailless mice. This trait of tail-less-ness is not seen in the progeny mice .


Now we know what traits are. But how are they determined? Or in what form do they exist within us?

To answer that we need to know what DNA is and genes are.

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Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 13 years and a teacher from the past 17 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo