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Difference between An Inherited Trait and An Acquired Trait

Difference between An Inherited Trait and An Acquired Trait

Inherited and acquired traits are two important aspects of biology. They both play a role in the development and function of an organism. However, there is a big difference between inherited and acquired traits. This blog post will discuss the difference between inherited and acquired traits, as well as give some examples.

What Is An Inherited Trait?

An inherited trait is a physical or behavioral characteristic that is passed down from one generation to the next. Inherited traits are determined by genes, which are units of information that are carried on chromosomes. Changes in genes (or mutations) can result in changes in the traits. Most traits are determined by more than one gene, and the environment can also influence how a trait is expressed. For example, the color of a person’s hair is determined by genes, but environmental factors such as diet and sun exposure can also affect hair color.

Similarly, intelligence is thought to be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Studies of twins have shown that identical twins, who share the same genes, tend to have similar IQ scores, while fraternal twins, who have different genes, tend to have less similar IQ scores. This suggests that both genetics and environment play a role in intelligence. However, it is important to note that no trait is entirely determined by either genes or the environment; rather, most traits are influenced by a combination of both factors.

What is An Acquired Trait?

  • An acquired trait is a character state that is not encoded in an organism’s genes and depends on environmental influences or learning during the lifetime of the organism. Acquired traits are distinguished from inherited traits, which are present at birth and primarily depend on the genes of the parent. Acquired traits can be either advantageous or disadvantageous to the organism. ManyLearned behaviors, such as seeking food or avoiding predators, would fall under the category of acquired traits.
  • Other examples include an animal developing camouflage to match its surroundings, calluses forming on the hands from hard work, and Shellfish building up resistance to toxic substances in their environment. Acquired traits may also result from changes in gene expression rather than permanent changes in the DNA sequence. These epigenetic changes can be caused by environmental influences such as diet, stress, or exposure to chemicals.
  • Acquired traits are important for evolution because they can allow organisms to adapt to their environment and increase their chances of survival. Natural selection can act on acquired traits as well as inherited traits, but it is thought to play a more significant role in shaping inherited traits. This is because random mutations that lead to advantageous inherited traits are rare, while acquired traits can be more readily changed by learning or experience.

Difference between An Inherited Trait and An Acquired Trait

An inherited trait is something that is passed down from a person’s parents, while an acquired trait is something that a person develops on their own during their lifetime. An inherited trait is usually something that cannot be changed, such as eye color or the shape of one’s nose. An acquired trait, on the other hand, is a behavior or physical characteristic that is developed over time through experience or learning. For example, someone who speaks multiple languages would have an acquired trait, while someone who has freckles would have an inherited trait. Ultimately, both inherited and acquired traits play a role in shaping who we are as individuals.


In conclusion, an inherited trait is a characteristic that is passed down from one generation to the next, while an acquired trait is a characteristic that is developed as a result of experience. There are many different ways to acquire new traits, including learning, practicing, and being exposed to new environments. It’s important to understand the difference between these two types of traits when trying to determine how best to change or improve oneself.

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