Inherited Tait vs Acquired Trait: Difference and Comparison

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

  1. Inherited traits originate from an individual’s genetic makeup, while acquired traits result from environmental influences or experiences.
  2. Inherited traits remain constant throughout an individual’s life, but acquired traits can change or evolve.
  3. Acquired traits cannot be passed on to future generations, whereas inherited traits can be transmitted through genes.

Inherited Trait vs Acquired Trait

The difference between an Inherited Trait and an Acquired trait is that an Inherited Trait isis the characteristic passed on to us by our parents, and an Acquired Trait is the character that we acquire 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 fascinating, as it tells us about our ancestors and the characteristics we inherit from them.

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

We get all our specific traits from our parents; the heredity 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. Our parents do not pass it on; it is the traits that we know or master as per our needs and interest.

For example, if we live on 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 that we change the colour 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 causes changes in our DNA as our genetic details are coated on the DNA
Change in DNAIt does not cause any change in the DNAColour of eyes, skin, hair, etc.
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
ExamplesAn acquired character like playing basketball, being a skilled painter, 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 unique features that we inherit from our parents or our ancestors are called Inherited Traits.

Inherited Traits are irreversible, but thanks to new technologies, we can modify them 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 unique characters.

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 specific rules of heredity determine the inheritance of the traits.

DNA is the spot or location where our inherited traits are coded, so it is possible to pass it to the next generation. Examples of inherited traits are the colour 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 interests and passion.

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

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

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

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

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

Examples of temporary Acquired Traits are colouring hair, blisters, shaving head, etc., 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) variations.
  5. Genes control all the characteristics of Inherited Traits, whereas the characteristic of Acquired Traits is not controlled by a gene.
References
  1. https://genome.cshlp.org/content/22/10/1877.short
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/45114865

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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