The information on this page fits well with BIODIVERSITY in Grade 9

Are some human traits (dominant? or recessive?) more prevalent in your community than in other communities? The information helps students to identify traits common to a particular community .

The characteristics that an organism inherits from its parents are called traits. In humans, traits include such things as the color of a person's hair, skin, and eyes, the blood group, the shape of nose and lips, and the tendancy to be short-sighted or to become bald. Some of the traits that humans acquire through inheritance can be modified by the influence of the environment, while others cannot. Blood type is an inheritaed trait that will not change, whereas the tendancy to be tall or short can be modified by what you eat, how fast you grow, illnesses and other factors.

Many Thanks to Devin L, Trevor I, Eric H and the other "OLP" students who found the time to isolate and make digital images of the various forms of each of the traits shown below. Their assistance with this project has be greatly appreciated.

Hair Color

Hair Pigment
A pigment called melanin is responsible for hair color. There are 2 types of melanin found in the hair. Eumelanin, is the most common type, it gives the hair shades from brown to black. Phaeomelanin, gives the hair yellowish-blond tones and ginger and red colors. Total absence of pigment produces white (grey) hair.

Blonde Hair

Brown Hair

Black Hair

Red Hair

Eye Color

Inheriting Eye Color

Brown Eyes

Hazel/Green Eyes

Blue Eyes




Widow's peak

White forelock (dominant trait) vs. No white forelock (recessive trait)
A white forelock is a patch of white hair, usually located at the hairline.


(dominant trait) vs. No dimples (recessive trait) Dimples are natural dents in the face to the right or left of the mouth. If a person has only one dimple, they should be counted as having dimples.


No Dimples


For the purposes of this study:
Broad Nose - nostrils extend beyond the space between the eyes
Narrow Nose - nostril span restricted to the space between the eyes

Broad Nose

Narrow Nose


Straight thumb
(dominant trait) vs. Curved thumb (recessive trait)




Multiple Roller


Free ear lobes (dominant trait) vs. Attached Earlobes (recessive trait)

Free earlobes are those that hang below the point of attachment to the head.

Attached ear lobes are attached directly to the side of the head.

Free Earlobes

Attached Earlobes


Handedness is most often defined as the hand you use for writing. Left handedness or Right handedness Within the scientific community, researchers define handedness in two ways:
- the hand that performs faster or more precisely on manual tests
- the hand that one prefers to use, regardless of performance.
Ambidexterity refers to the ability of an individual to use either hand equally well





Blood Types

Two distinct chemical molecules are present on the surface of the red blood cells. An Austrian scientist named Karl Landsteiner
labeled one molecule "A" and the other molecule "B."

If the red blood cell had only "A" molecules on it, that blood was called type A. If the red blood cell had only "B" molecules on it, that blood was called type B. If the red blood cell had a mixture of both molecules, that blood was called type AB. If the red blood cell had neither molecule, that blood was called type O.

Blood Type will not be studied at this level, because it is not usually common for children to know their Blood Type