A fingerprint is an impression of the friction ridges found on the inner surface of a finger or a thumb.

The science of fingerprinting consititutes the only unchangeable and infallible means of positive identification known to man.

The reasons why fingerprints are used for identification purposes are outlined below.  These premises are supported by scientific research in areas such as biology, embryology, anatomy and histology to name a few.

The fourth premise is not really a fact relating to identification.  Fingerprint classification assists to narrow the search but is not part of the actual identification process.  Its importance is clear though if you consider the huge task you would be faced with if, after taking thousands and thousands of fingerprints,  you had no method to file and retrieve them.

In order to gain a more indepth understanding of the principles of
fingerprint identification
,  the identification specialist needs to have knowledge of the actual biological structure of friction skin and understand the stages of friction skin development on the fetus prior to birth and, the numerous factors that affect its growth.   I have attempted to give a concise but still quite comprehensive look at both the anatomical structure of friction skin and how it develops   in this web site. 

Also, did you know that...

Identical twins have the same DNA configuration but they do not have identical friction ridge configuration.  (Suggestion - read Andre Moenssen's paper entitled "Is Fingerprint Identification a 'Science'?". A very interesting article!






1)  Ridge patterns and the details in small areas of friction ridges are unique and never repeated.

2)  Friction ridges develop on the fetus in their definitive form before birth.

3)  Ridges are persistent throughout life except for permanent scarring.

4)  Friction ridge patterns vary within limits which allow for classification.
What is a fingerprint?






The fourth premise is not really a fact relating to identification.  Fingerprint classification assists to narrow the search but is not part of the actual identification process.  Its importance is clear though if you consider the huge task you would be faced with if, after taking thousands and thousands of fingerprints,  you had no method to file and retrieve them.

In order to gain a more indepth understanding of the principles of
fingerprint identification
,  the identification specialist needs to have knowledge of the actual biological structure of friction skin and understand the stages of friction skin development on the fetus prior to birth and, the numerous factors that affect its growth.   I have attempted to give a concise but still quite comprehensive look at both the anatomical structure of friction skin and how it develops   in this web site. 

Also, did you know that...

Identical twins have the same DNA configuration but they do not have identical friction ridge configuration.  (Suggestion - read Andre Moenssen's paper entitled "Is Fingerprint Identification a 'Science'?". A very interesting article!
A fingerprint is an impression of the friction ridges found on the inner surface of a finger or a thumb.

The science of fingerprinting consititutes the only unchangeable and infallible means of positive identification known to man.

The reasons why fingerprints are used for identification purposes are outlined below.  These premises are supported by scientific research in areas such as biology, embryology, anatomy and histology to name a few.