An inherited trait is a characteristic passed from the male and female parents to the offspring or child through genes.
The genes are the unit on our chromosomes that are responsible for all our characteristics. The chromosomes consist of thousands of genes. The whole chromosome is made from a chemical called deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA for short.
Some of these genes act individually but most act depending on which other genes are nearby or environmental factors or some don't get switched on unless something triggers them to do so. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each of us inherit 23 chromosomes from our mother and 23 from our father. Males have one mismatched 'pair' which is referred to as the sex chromosome. Males inherit a y chromosome from their father and an X from their mother, whereas females inherit an X from each parent. The trait on one chromosome can be blocked by the matching trait on the other chromosome in the pair. These 'matching' traits are called alleles. It is rare that we inherit a characteristic just from one pair of alleles. Every living thing has DNA. Plants and animals that reproduce sexually get half their inheritance from each parent. These genes then recombine into the number of pairs for that species and a unique individual is produced.