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Bitterne Manor Primary School

Bitterne Manor

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27/04/20 - INHERITANCE

When living things reproduce they pass on characteristics to their offspring. This is known as
inheritance. People inherit key characteristics from their parents, like eye colour, skin colour and
All living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring are not identical to their
parents; there are variations that make them different.
For example, if you cross two different breeds of dog, you get a dog with a combination of
characteristics. Some characteristics come from their mother and some from their father.
  • Who do you think the parents of these Mr Men and Little Miss characters are?
  • Which characteristics have they inherited from each parent?


Now it's your turn!

Choose one of the Mr Men and one Little Miss and draw what their offspring might look like!
Explain which characteristics they have inherited from each of their parents.


Inherited and environmental variation


The difference in our characteristics is called variation.

Some characteristics are passed on from parents to offspring. This is inherited variation.

Some of our characteristics are determined by how we live and the choices we make, for example what we eat and where we live. This is environmental variation.

Some characteristics can be both.

Can you decide which of the following characteristics are inherited, environmental or both?