|MadSci Network: Anatomy|
Your fingerprints are formed in the womb and the "basic pattern" stays the same your whole life. However, if you cut yourself and it leaves a scar your fingerprints will have changed because a scar now would be visible on your print. Some people who work with their hands might wear some of the ridges (called friction ridges)off completely. For example, someone who carries cinder blocks all day long. Let's look at an example. Say a guy commits a burglary, leaves a latent (hidden) print, then gets a job carrying cinder blocks. A year later the police find him and they make inked prints of his fingerprints. Now it is up to a fingerprint examiner to determine if any of the suspects fingers made the latent print at the crime scene. She does this by trying to find as many points of similarities as possible between the latent print and the inked prints, looking at both under magnification. Now the suspects fingerprints have changed some in that year, because of his job, but remember the basic pattern is unchanged, so the fingerprint examiner can still find some points of similarities. You can also use elbows and animal noses for identifications. For example, in 4H they nose print prize winning cows for identification purposes, and our fingerprint examiner helped solve a kidnapping by matching the suspects elbow print to an elbow print left on the roof of a car just ablove the window. Good question Christa thanks, Dave
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