Genetics Project - Design a Species

Objective: Genetics follows certain rules, as illustrated by punnet squares, principles of dominance and recessiveness, and rules related to the location of alleles on the chromosomes. In animals, such as mouse, certain traits are expressed in predictable ways. In this project, you are going to design your own imaginary species, and create traits for the species that follow genetic rules that you have already studied.

The creature should have at least 5 genetic traits from the following list. You are free to create whatever traits you like (such as hair color, size, shape, or other features)

Your final project should have the following elements:

1. Describe or sketch each of the traits from the list, listing genotypes and phenotypes for each.

Partial sketches are fine in this case.

2. Sketch two examples of your creature – one male and one female. The two examples must have different genotypes.

Each sketch should have the genotype listed for all traits.

3. Pick one of your single allele traits and create a sample pedigree for your creature.

The pedigree should include at least 4 generations.

4. Show a dihybrid cross (using your 2 single allele traits—ex: AaBb x AaBb)

List the phenotypic ratios.

5. Create 5 practice problems, using any of the traits.

These should be word problems. Do not just write Aa x Aa.

Genetics Project Grading Rubric

Unsatisfactory (1 pts)

Satisfactory (2 pts)

Excellent (3 pts)

Traits and pictures

Some do not follow genetics “rules”, pictures not clear

Follows genetics rules, pictures are small or lacking in creativity or effort

Follows genetics rules, pictures are drawn large and clearly. Colored. Creative.

Creature examples

Genotype doesn’t follow phenotype, pictures not included or unclear

Genotype follows phenotype, all traits included, pictures somewhat unclear or not neat

Genotype follows phenotype, pictures drawn clearly, neatly and creatively, and colored


Less than 4 generations are shown, significant mistakes in genotypes

4 generations shown, minor mistakes in genotypes

4 generations shown, no mistakes

Dihybrid Cross

Punnett square not set up correctly, phenotypic ratios not given or incorrect

Punnett square set up correctly, minor errors in counting and ratios

Square set up correctly, phenotypic ratios given correctly

Practice problems

Less than 5 problems given, more than 1 is impossible to solve

5 problems given, somewhat unclear or unsolvable

All 5 problems are written well and can be solved


Image Credit: Emily Ratkewizc, 2011