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Inherited Characteristics in Animals and Examples

Grade 3
Jun 6, 2023

Inherited Characteristics in Animals


Do you look more like your mom or more like your dad? Why do grandchildren sometimes look just like their grandparents? It all depends on inherited traits, which are passed down from generation to generation.


Just like plants, human and animal kids usually look like their parents too.

Explanation of Inheritance

Parents and children have similar traits or characteristics because parents pass traits down to their children.

The transfer of characteristics from parents to their children is known as inheritance.

You might have noticed that family members look similar, even though they’re not identical. This is due to inheritance.


Inherited Traits

Inheritance refers to the physical features that are passed from parents to children. For example, the daughter has the same hair colour as her mother.

Inherited trait

Traits like eye colour, hair colour, skin tone, and height are transferred from parent to child. These are called inherited traits or characteristics. These traits are possessed before birth.

Inherited characteristics

Just like humans, animal kids usually look like their parents too. For example, the puppy has the same fur colour, pattern, and eye colour as its parents.

Inherited characteristics in puppy
  • Fur colour
  • Pattern
  • Eye colour

These traits are all inherited from the parents of an animal. These traits are not things he has learned or likes to do; these are traits that he was born with.

Examples of Inherited Traits in Animals

  • Fur colour
  • Fur length
  • Height
  • Length
  • Patterns such as spots, stripes, or patches
  • Shape of eyes, ears, nose, body


These kittens are siblings. How can someone tell they are related?


The kittens have the following:

  • Same body shape
  • Similar eye colours and shape
  • Same fur colour

Their parents have passed these traits down, so they are probably similar-looking adult cats.

What are Some Inherited Traits in Animals?

1. A tiger has stripes.


    2. A giraffe has a long neck.

     A giraffe has a long neck

    3. An elephant has a trunk.

     An elephant has a trunk

    4. A zebra has stripes.

    A zebra has stripes
    Inherited characteristics in Animals


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