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Difference between Heredity and Inheritance

The major differentiating factor between heredity and inheritance is the way the genetic traits are interpreted. Heredity is the transmission of genetic characteristics from parents to offspring and is often referred to as genetics. Inheritance depicts the pathway of the genetic traits and their expression from one to another generation. Therefore, the pattern of heredity is the essence of inheritance and variation is the essence of heredity.

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  • Asexual or sexual reproduction causes traits to be passed from parents to offsprings. Heredity is a phenomenon and is also known as vertical transmission
  • Offsprings acquire genetic information from parents
  • As a result, variations among entities can accumulate enabling species to adapt by selection hence the evolution
  • Sperms from the father and egg from the mother fuse forming zygote. This contains genetic information from both parents.
  • Traits could be color of the hair, eye color, intelligence, skin complexion, height, anything
  • In biology, the study of heredity is known as genetics. It also includes epigenetics


  • Passing of genetic information from parent to child is inheritance
  • Information is passed down in the form of chemical codes by the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) present in the sex cells.
  • Inheritance is by the virtue of chromosomal variation
  • Genetic material is passed by chromosomes, vehicles of inheritance
  • Each of the gamete of the opposite sex takes part in sexual reproduction contributing attributes in the form of genetic material
  • Examples of inheritance are genetic diseases such as haemophilia
  • Traits get expressed in the offspring after which are passed on to the next generation. The traits that are passed from one to next generation are known as inherited traits
  • Acquired traits are obtained by the individual in their lifetime. These are a result of lifestyle changes, loss of body parts, misuse of body parts, injury etc and occur in the somatic cells of the body. Such changes are not passed onto the next generation

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