Fingerprints first form before we are even
born. Their shape is dependent partly on
genetics, and partly on random patterning
processes. Because they are partly determined
by random development, no two are alike-- not
even on one hand! The answer to your question,
then, is that we do not have the same
fingerprint on each finger.
This can make things difficult for police who
are trying to solve a crime. When they find
fingerprints at a crime scene, they often need to
figure out which finger left each print so that
they don't have to look at all ten fingerprints
for each suspect. The police have experts who are
very good at doing this, though.
Look at your own fingertips under a magnifying
glass. Pick one of your fingers, and carefully
examine the pattern of the fingerprint. Try to
find one distinctive mark or shape that's easy to
remember, like a particular loop or whorl. Now
look at the fingerprint from a different finger.
If you compare them, you will probably see that
although they might be similar, they are not
identical! This is why fingerprints are such a
good way of identifying people. Nobody has
the same fingerprints you do-- and even each
of your fingers is unique!
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