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Fingerprint - is an impression left by the friction ridge of a human finger.
Friction ridge - is a raised portion of the epidermis on the fingers and toes, the palm of the
hand or the sole of the foot, consisting of one or more connected ridge units of the friction
ridge skin.These are sometimes known as "epidermal ridges"
Dermatoglyphics - scientific study of fingerprints.
Type of Prints
1. Exemplar - "known prints" - fingerprints deliberately collected from a subject.
2. Latent - means chance or accidental impression left by the friction ridge skin on a
surface regardless of whether it is visible or invisible at the time of deposition. Although the
word latent means hidden or invisible in modern usage for forensic science.
3.Patent - chance friction ridge impressions which are obvious to the human eye and
which have been caused by the transfer of foreign material from a finger into a surface.
4. Plastic Print - is a friction ridge impression left in a material that retains the shape of
the ridge detail.
5. Electronic Recording - example, a man selling stolen watches sending images of them
on a mobile phone and those images included parts of his hands in enough detail for police
to be able to identify fingerprint patterns.
Notes:
Plantar - refers to feet and toes.
Palmar - refers to finger and palm.
Personalities who significantly contributed to the science of fingerprint.
1. Jan Evangelista Purkinje (1787 - 1869) - a czech physiologist and professor of anatomy
at the university of Breslau, published a thesis in 1823 discussing 9 fingerprint patterns but
he did not mention any possibility of using fingerprint to identify people.
2. Georg Von Meisner (1829 - 1905) - German anatomist who studied friction ridges.
3. Sir William James Herschel - initiated fingerprinting in India. In 1877 at Hoogly near
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Calcutta, he instituted the use of fingerprints on contracts and deeds to prevent the then
rampant repudiation of signatures and he registered government pensioners fingerprint to
prevent the collection of money by relatives after a pensioners death.
4. Henry Faulds - a Scottish surgeon who in 1880, in a Tokyo hospital, published his first
paper on the subject in the scientific journal nature. He took up the study of "skin furrows"
after noticing finger marks on specimens of prehistoric pottery.
5. Juan Vucetich - an Argentine chief of police who created the first method of recording the
fingerprint of individuals on file, associating this these fingerprints to the anthropometric
system of Alphonse Bertillon.
6. Alphonse Bertillon - created in 1879 a system to identify individuals by anthropometric
photographs and associated quantitative descriptions.
7. Edward Richard Henry - UK home secretary who conducted an inquiry into identification
of criminals by measurements and fingerprints. The Henry Classification System of
classifying fingerprint was named after him.
8. Azizul Hague and Hem Chandra Bose - Indian fingerprint expert who have been credited
with the primary development of a fingerprint classification system eventually named after
their supervisor Sir Edward Richard Henry.
9. Henry P. deForrest - used fingerprinting in the New York civil service in 1902 and by
1906. Pioneered U.S. fingerprinting.
10. Nehemiah Grew -(1641 - 1712) - in 1684, this English physician, botanist and
microscopist published the first scientific paper to describe the ridge structure of the skin
covering the fingers and palms.
11. Marcelo Malphigi - an anatomy professor at the university of Bologna, noted in his treatise
in 1686, ridges, spirals and loops in fingerprints, A layer of skin was named after him
"malphigi layer" which is approximately 1.8 mm thick.
12. Mark Twain - in his memoir life on the Mississippi 1883, it mentioned a melodramatic
account of a murder in which the killer was identified by a thumbprint. Twain's novel Pudd'n
head Wilson published in 1893 includes a court room drama that turns on fingerprint
identification.
Fingerprint Sensor - is an electronic device used to capture a digital image of the
fingerprint pattern. The captured image is called a live scan.
Biometrics (Biometric Authentication) - refers to the identification of humans by their
characteristics or traits.
Latent Print - (known as dactyloscopy or hand print identification) - is the process of
comparing two instances of friction ridge skin impressions from human fingers, palm of the
hand, or even toes to determine whether these impressions could have come from the same
individual.
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The Most Popular Ten Print Classification System.
1. Roscher System - developed in Germany. Implemented in Germany and Japan.
2. Juan Vucetich System - developed in Argentina. Implemented through out South
America.
3. Henry Classification System - developed in India. Implemented in most English
speaking countries.
In the Henry System of Classification. There are 3 basic fingerprint patterns.
1. Loop - constitute 60% to 65% of all fingerprint.
Kinds of Loop
1)ulnar Loop
2)radial Loop
2. Whorl - constitute 30% to 35% of all fingerprints.
Kinds of Whorl
1)plain Whorl
2)accidental Whorl
3)double Loop whorl
4)central Pocket Loop Whorl.
3. Arch - constitute 5% of all fingerprints.
Kinds of Arch
1)plain Arch
2)tented Arch
The Basic Fundamentals of Fingerprints are:
1. Permanence - fingerprints never change.
2. Individuality - no two fingerprints are alike.
Characteristics of a Ridge (minutia Features)
1. Ridge Ending - the end of a ridge.
2. Bifurcation - the Y-shaped split of one ridge into
two.
3. Dot - is a very short ridge that looks like a dot.
When is fingerprint ridges formed? ans. formed during the third to fourth month of fetal
development.
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Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) - is the process of automatically
matching one of many unknown fingerprints against a database of known and unknown
prints.
What is a Loop? ans. the ridges enter from one side of the finger, form a curve and then
exit on that same side.
What is a whorl? ans. ridges form circularly around a central point on the finger.
What is an Arch? ans. the ridges enter from one side of the finger, rise in the center
forming an arch and then exit the other side of the finger.
What does a Minutiae Include? ans. It includes the following:
1. Ridge Ending - the abrupt end of a ridge.
2. Ridge Bifurcation - a single ridge that divides into
two ridges.
3. Short Ridge or Independent Ridge - a ridge that
commences, travels a short distance and then
ends.
4. Island - a single small ridge inside a short ridge
or ridge ending that is not connected to all other
ridges.
5. Ridge Enclosure - a single ridge that bifurcates and
reunites shortly afterward to continue as a single
ridge.
6. Spur - a bifurcation with a short ridge branching off
a longer ridge.
7. Crossover or Bridge - a short ridge that runs
between two parallel ridges.
8. Delta - a Y-shape ridge meeting.
9. Core - A U-turn in the ridge pattern.
Forensic Anthropology - forensic discipline that studies human skeletal remains for
identification.
Forensic Odontology - study of dental features to identify a victim when the body is
otherwise unidentifiable.

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