Many people sometimes wonder about the function of their ‘fingerprints’. Why do we have them? The answer is foundstarts in the sweat pores!
December 18, 2010
Walt Disney became famous for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. The corporation he co-founded, now known as The Walt Disney Company, today has annual revenues of approximately U.S. $35 billion. Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse belong to his world famous creatures. Today you can also meet them at Disney World!
Interestingly, his fingerprints reveal that this exceptionally creative genius had a very rare fingerprint pattern on his right forefinger: a Central Pocket Loop Type Whorl pattern (CM).
Via the high-r version of Walt Disney’s fingerprints you can study the details!
Walt Disney’s fingerprints:
Fingerprints found in Mongolian cave made during the ‘Paleolithic Period’.
After French argeologists found last summer the ‘oldest’ portrait in the history of mankind in French caves (from 32,000 years ago), recently archeologists have discovered 6,000-year-old fingerprints & paintings in a cave in Mongolia.
A Bernama report (from Malaysian News Agency) describes:
“Chinese archeologists have discovered two 6,000-year-old sites with coloured cave paintings and fingerprints in a mountain in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinhua news agency reports Thursday.
Wang Dafang, an official with the Inner Mongolia Cultural Bureau, said the paintings from the Paleolithic Period were discovered in two caves on Yabrai Mountain on the edge of the world’s fourth largest desert, Badain Jaran, in Araxan League.
Archeologists believe the fingerprints were painted with mixed dyestuff of ochre powder, animal blood and water. Painters may have used bone pipes to blow the dyestuff onto the cave walls. Wang said three other sites of Paleolithic cave paintings with fingerprints had been found in Araxan.
“The cave environment, the painting style and the dyestuff used for the paintings here are similar to European Paleolithic cave paintings,” Wang said.
He added the cave paintings in Araxan have been badly damaged by weathering and rain water erosion. Except for the fingerprints, no drawings can be made out”
SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
The word ‘dermatoglyphics‘ was first coined by Harold Cummins in 1926, and refers to the study of the characteristics in the skin ridges of the hands and the feet. What are the most common dermatoglyphic characteristics?
In most populations around the world is the ‘ulnar loop’ the most observed fingerprint pattern (see: the fingerprint of the pinky finger in the picture above). Loops are most frequently found on the little finger (and middle finger); loops are least frequently found on the pointer finger.
The variations in the dermatoglyphics of the handpalm are much more complex than the variations in the fingerprints. An important element concerns the presence of the ‘palmar triradii’ (see: a, b, c, d, and t in the picture above): normally each finger is featured with a palmar triradius – triradius t belongs to the thumb (the thumb mouse – a.k.a. as the ‘thenar’, or in palmistry: ‘mount of Venus’ could be recognized as the third phalange of the thumb).
T = L + D – 1
More details available via:
Picture: example of a normal pattern of dermatoglypics [NOTICE: If the 'c-line' is ending between the ring- and middle finger it always creates a palmar 'loop', which implicates that the author of the picture has missed 6th palmar triradius between/below the c and d triradius]
|‘Whorls’ are a common features in the hands of many primate species!
What are the major differences between the hands of primate species and the human?
• 1 – Primates usually have a shorter thumb than humans – the thumb of the macaque (see photo on the left) does not rearch out behond the distal border of the handpalm.
• 2 – Primates usually have a lower ’2D:4D digit ratio’ than humans – the hand of the macaque is featured with a much longer ring finger (digit 4) than the pointer finger (digit 2).
|• 3 – Primates usually have more fingerprint- and palmar whorls than humans – the hand of the macaque is featured with 5 palmar whorls.
• 4 – Primates always have a lower ‘ridge density’ than humans.
• 5 – Primates usually have (various) palmar transversal creases, a.k.a. ‘simian lines’ – the hand of the macaque has one ‘simian line’.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
PHOTO: Impression from the back of the hand of a macaque:
October 12, 2009
In 1892, Sir Francis Galton published his highly influential book, ‘Finger Prints’ in which he described his classification system based on the number of triradii. On of the 3 most well-known fingerprint types is the ‘whorl’ (next to the ‘loop’ and ‘arch’), which is often found on the fingertips – but rarely found on the hypothenar (in palistry: ‘mount of Moon’)!
What was already known about the ‘hypothenar whorl’?
Quote from the article:
“While the classic palmistry literature describes that the ‘hypothenar whorl’ (a.k.a. ‘whorl on mount of Moon’) can be recognized as a sign for finding a ‘highly imaginative person’, various scientific studies have indicated that dermatoglyphic whorls on the mount of moon are linked with Down’s syndrome + a few other medical problems.”
NEW RESEARCH FINDING ON AUTISM!
Another quote from the article:
“A study on the hands of 30 people with autism (25 men, 5 women) revealed a surprizing high percentage of a specific (very rare) variant of the ‘hypothenar whorl’ – the ‘hypothenar composite whorl’.”
Some examples of the ‘hypothenar composite whorl’ are presented below.
In the perspective of the fact that in the science of fingerprints the ‘composite whorl’ is related to the ‘double loop’, it is interesting to notice here that the new finding relates to an earlier reported finding which pointed out that the hands of people with autism are often featured with a ‘double loop’ in the fingerprint of the pinky finger and the presence of 2 palmar loops below that 5th finger.
In cases you’re interested to learn more about the basics of fingerprint classification – the illustration below describes the 8 most common types of fingerprints (including: 2 ‘arch’ variants, 2 ‘loop’ variants, and 4 ‘whorl’ variants).
NOTICE: The ‘composite whorl’ whorl does not belong to the 8 basic fingerprint types (the name ‘double loop whorl’ in the picture below is traditionally described as a ‘double loop’).
SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
September 11, 2009
An impression from Mars.
‘Fingerprint of God’?
Earlier this year (april) NASA reported a Chandra X-ray observatory including a ghostly blue cloud that resembled a hand with outstretched fingers grasping a ball of fire – the media were joking amused: ‘It’s the hand of God!‘. In the first week of september NASA reported another phenomenon found on planet Mars: a striking range of dunes and craters (see also the photo below) that appears to form a giant cosmic fingerprint on the surface of the Red Planet.
Scientists believe the undulating ground reveals global climate changes that took place on Mars over the past few million years.
The area is in the Coprates region, a large trough that forms part of the Valles Marineris – a system of canyons stretching thousands of miles along Mars’ equator.
The whitish areas could be evaporites – mineral sediments left behind when salt water evaporates. Such deposits would be of great interest as they indicate potential habitats for past martian life.
The detailed image is just one of thousands of pictures recently unveiled taken by Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The images were collected using a High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera during more than 1,500 telescopic observations.
Each full image from HiRISE, taken between April and August last year, covers a strip of Martian ground six kilometers (3.7 miles) wide, showing details as small as one metre, or yard, across. They are the most detailed pictures of the Red Planet’s surface taken from space.
A close up shot of gullies at the edge of the Hale Crater on the red planet Mars:
June 12, 2009
The role of the skin on our fingertips, palm and soles of the feet is to grip other objects, and they all have characteristic “friction” ridges. Nevertheless, very little research has been carried out about how well fingers perform, how friction is achieved and why we have soft fingerpads with fingerprints at all. Recent research carried out in the laboratory of the University of Manchester suggests that finger skin has frictional properties rather like rubber.
|Why do we have fingerprints?
The most likely possible answers are:
1) Fingerprints may increase friction on rough materials;
New British research indicates that the first option can be deleted from the list. Researcher Dr. Roland Ennos explains his findings below:
“I have been thinking about this for years and, having played around with it for a bit, realised that skin is rubbery so the ridges in fingerprints might actually reduce grip.
Our experiments – using a plastic cup, weights and strips of Perspex (acrylic glass) to develop a simple machine in the lab – proved me right.
The experiment was so simple, this discovery could have been made 100 years ago; but scientists make assumptions and tend to look at complicated things instead.
We are now testing that theory and two others, that fingerprints improve grip on rough surfaces and that they increase sensitivity.
There are potential spin-offs for this work. For example some people who suffer nerve damage that prevents sweating have slippery fingers and cannot grip: we could develop something to treat that.”
LEARN MORE ABOUT FINGERPRINTS:
When you go to Paris, you really should not forget to pay a visit at ‘La Défense quarter’, the modern business area of the French capital city.
One of the many art masterpieces in Paris is called ‘Le pouce’ (the thumb), which was made by one of the most famous French sculptors: César Baldaccini (1921-1998).
|César made ‘the thumb’ in 1965, his sculpture weighs 18 tons and is 12 meter high, and includes at the backside… César’s gigantic fingerprint! The estimated value of César’s masterpiece is close to 1 million euros.
In the summer of 2008 one hundred works of César Baldaccini were exhibited from early July till the end of october at ‘la Fondation Cartier’ for Contemporary Art, featured by Jean Nouvel, architect of the building and friend of the famous sculptor.
The visitors were able to discover many of César’s famous thumbs, made by the artist with various materials including: bronze, Baccarat crystal, stainless steel, aluminum and pink marble.
MORE THUMB ART & SCIENCE:
Last month (may, 2009) a letter from a doctor, published in the magazine ‘Annals of Oncology’, became hot news because his client – a 62-year old cancer patient from Singapore – was held for four hours by immigration officials in the United States because they could not detect his fingerprints! The doctor of the patient had to declare that his patient’s fingerprints disappeared because of a cancer-drug he had been taking for over years. A disappearing fingerprint is one of the typical but rare features of the ‘hand-foot syndrome’.
The major symptoms of the hand-foot syndrome include: feelings of tingling or burning, redness, flaking, swelling, small blisters, and small sores on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
WHAT DRUGS MAY CAUSE THE ‘HAND-FOOT SYNDROME’?
The following chemotherapy drugs (usually used to treat cancer) have been reported to cause hand-foot syndrome in some patients:
>> Capecitabine (Xeloda)
INTERESTING SUGGESTIONS RELATED TO HANDS & CANCER:
• Why a cancer patient may have no fingerprints: the hand-foot syndrome!