|MadSci Network: Anatomy|
What an excellent question!!!! In fact changing identity with a change in fingerprints seems such a foolproof idea, that people fall in for the trap. Let's take a look at the basic nature of fingerprints.
Fingerprints are made of ridges on the skin of our hands and feet, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The print is not just a collection of lines, but all these lines together make a special figure, a few basic types being the "arch", "whorl", "loop" or "mixed". Though the number of basic shapes is different, what matters is the arrangement, number of lines, shape and size of each of the patterns. Thus, you can imagine millions of combinations of fingerprints, leading to the fact that no two fingerprints can be the same.
These prints are formed during fetal life before you are born, and are permanent. Meaning they remain the same during the lifetime, except due to disfigurement, or after a person dies and decomposition sets in. BUT, these changes in fingerprints can be explained, since the basic structure remains the same.
So, we can see that we can never change a print, only damage or disfigure it. But the more you mutilate your fingerprints, the more unique they become, and the more easier to find it!!!!
Hope this explains your curiosity.
I have taken the reference of the following website, which you may visit and get more information.
www.fingerprints.tk - an excellent website with all basic info, good pics.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Anatomy.