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Offspring Definition

Offspring are new organisms resulting from reproduction. Offspring created through asexual reproduction are identical to the parent. Offspring created through sexual reproduction inherit a unique combination of traits from two parents.

View Lesson on Reproduction of Living Things
Grades 6-8 VideoReproduction of Living Things player orange
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Reproduction of Living Things

Fun Facts

  • Brittle stars can reproduce by dividing in half, growing missing parts.
  • Yeast cells reproduce by splitting in two, creating identical DNA copies.
  • Kangaroo offspring vary from their parents because they inherit half their genes from each one.

Why Do We Need To Know About Offspring

Learning about offspring helps us understand genetics, which is the study of how traits are passed down from parents to their kids.  Scientists called geneticists study genes to find treatments for diseases that are passed down in families.

Also, people called genetic counselors help find genetic problems in offspring before they are born. This allows doctors to treat diseases early.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction?
In sexual reproduction, genes from two parents are recombined in their offspring. Asexual reproduction requires only one parent; the parent and offspring share identical genetic information.
What information can a Punnett square give us about an offspring’s traits?
A Punnett square can find the probability of an offspring expressing its parents’ traits.
What might be some advantages of sexual and asexual reproduction?
(Answers may vary.) Asexual reproduction can be much faster because only one parent is needed. Recombining genes in sexual reproduction can create genetic variation.
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