Evolution describes changes in inherited traits over time and through successive generations. That length of time can be very long, as in the case of the evolution of the elephant seal which took place over 25 million years.
Evolution can also be very short. In the case of Dr Endler’s guppies, evolution took place in just over a year in only 15 generations of guppy fish.
So what traits could you inherit from your parents? The emphasis is on the words ‘could’ because it is by no means certain that you will inherit any of these traits.
The list of traits you could have inherited from your own parents is a long one, but here are a few examples….. You inherited two eyes but what color are your eyes?….
You inherited a nose, but do you have an ‘aquiline’ nose with a prominent ‘bridge’?
You were born with a chin but do you have a ‘dimple’ on your chin?…..
You were born with two thumbs but do you have hitchhiker’s thumbs?…..
You inherited two eye lids; do you have folds of skin covering the inner corners of your upper eye lids?….
You were born with ten toes but do you have second toes that are longer than your big toes?…
You were born with a tongue, but have you inherited the ability to roll your tongue like this?…
You were born with hair, but have you inherited a widow’s peak? (a widows peak is a ‘V’ shaped point in the hairline in the center of your forehead)
You were born with earlobes, but have you inherited ‘unattached’ earlobes (picture at upper left) or ‘attached’ earlobes (picture at bottom right)?
What color hair were you born with? Which parent did you inherit your hair color from? Will your hair turn gray as you get older just like your father’s and mother’s hair did as they grew older?
Did you inherit a crooked ‘pinkie’ (little finger) from one of your parents?
Were you born with freckles?…
Sometimes people inherit conditions which are seen by some people in society as somehow ‘disabling’. Some of these conditions are more ‘disabling’ than others. A few of these ‘disabling’ conditions are mentioned below: Some people are born with too many fingers or thumbs. A condition known as ‘polydactyly’.
Other people inherit ‘color blindness’. A person who is ‘color blind’ might see this number below as ’21’ or may not see a number at all.
This young boy has inherited ‘autism’, a developmental condition which harms people’s ability to communicate and relate to others. Autistic people often exhibit repetitive behavior. This young boy shows autistic tendencies by feeling the need to lay all his toys out in a row before he goes to sleep.
This young girl from Papua New Guinea has inherited albinism….
Sarah Rose is an Australian paralympic swimming competitor who inherited ‘achondroplasia’- a condition more commonly known as ‘dwarfism’.