Difference Between Inherited Tait and Acquired Trait

When we take birth there are so many speculations, that our features or characteristic resembles our mother or father.


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Most of the characters or the traits, that we have in us are from our parents like the color of our skin, hair, height, etc.

And sometimes the traits are not inborn we use to develop it over time like playing football, cooking, changing our hair color. So, let’s discuss all these traits in detail.

Inherited Trait vs Acquired Trait

The difference between an Inherited Trait and an Acquired trait is that an Inherited Trait are the characteristic that is passed on to us by our parents and an Acquired Trait is the character that we acquired in our lifetime through our skills and knowledge. An Inherited Trait causes a change in our DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) whereas, an Acquired Trait has nothing to do with our DNA.

Inherited Trait vs Acquired Trait

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Inherited Trait is very interesting, as it tells us about our ancestors and what is the characteristic that we inherit from them.

When we see ourselves we are curious to know why our hair is black? Why the colors of our eyes are brown, blue, black? Why we are short or tall? The answer to all these questions comes from the theory of Inherited Trait.

We get all our specific traits from our parents; it is the heredity that is passed on from generation to generation.

Acquired Trait is the character or the trait that we learn or develop by ourselves during our lifetime. It is not passed on by our parents, it is the traits that we learn or master as per our needs and interest.

For example, if we to live by our own and we do not know how to cook then we learn to cook, this is a trait that we acquire as it is our need.

On the other hand, we want to look very different and dynamic for that we change the color of our hair, we tattooed ourselves this is that trait that we develop out of our interest.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonInherited TraitAcquired Trait
DefinitionIt is a trait that is passed down from parents to childrenIt is a trait that is acquired as a result of external influences or our actions
Change in DNAIt causes change in our DNA as our genetic details are coated on the DNAIt is does not cause any change in the DNA
EvolutionIt can lead to the evolutionIt does not lead to evolution
Passing of traitsIt can be passed on to the next generationIt cannot be passed on to the next generation
ExamplesColor of eyes, skin, hair, etc.An acquired character like playing basketball, skilled painter, etc.

What is an Inherited Trait?

As human being evolves many changes have taken place in the body of an individual these changes took place over a long period.

And the changes or the traits they acquired were passed on to their offspring. And these special features that we inherit from our parents or our ancestors are called Inherited Trait.

Inherited Traits are irreversible, but thanks to new technologies we can modify it to some extent but sometimes the result can be awful.

Therefore most people are happy with what they have they do not try to change or modify it. We are all unique, because we all have a set of characters that is unique.

An Inherited Trait can also lead to the evolution, which is a never ending process.

Inherited Traits are passed on to us as offspring at the time of fertilization and there are certain rules of heredity that determine the inheritance of the traits.

DNA is the spot or the location where our inherited traits are coded and therefore it is possible to pass it to our next generation. Examples of inherited traits are the color of our eyes, hair and skin complexion, height, etc.

What is an Acquired Trait?

Acquired Traits are being developed or evolved during our lifetime, these traits define our interest and our passion.

Acquired Traits have nothing to do with our ancestral history, it is acquired by us as we choose to acquire them. It is not in our DNA nor our genes, it is the outcome of our experiences in our lives.

The acquisition of Acquired Trait is also thought of as the result of an individual’s desire to try new things in his or her life. Through these changes, they can be more unique than they were at the time of their birth.

Acquired Traits are very important for the growth and development of an individual as it is their creation that is gained through their knowledge and experiences.

Acquired Traits are the traits that cannot be transferred to our offspring, as these traits are not coded in our DNA.

Acquired Traits are mostly influenced by the environment that we live in, and the things on which we build our interest. There are various types of Acquired Traits some can be temporary and some can be permanent.

Examples of temporary Acquired Traits are coloring hair, blisters, shaving head, etc. and examples of permanent Acquired Traits are Organ transplant (heart or kidney transplant), Eyesight correcting surgery, and so on.

Main Differences Between an Inherited Trait and an Acquired Trait

  1. Inherited Traits are passed on from one generation to the other whereas, Acquired Traits are the traits that we acquire during our lifetime
  2. Inherited Traits from parents are inheritable whereas Acquired Traits are non inheritable.
  3. Environmental changes does not affect Inherited Traits whereas, Acquired Traits are affected by environmental changes
  4. Inherited Traits is the genetic variation whereas Acquired Traits are somatic(related to the body and mind) variation.
  5. Genes control all the characteristics of Inherited Traits whereas the characteristic in Acquired Traits are not controlled by a gene.
  1. https://genome.cshlp.org/content/22/10/1877.short
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/45114865
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