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    Abstract

    HEREDITY IN FINGER PRINTS.-Attention was first directed to the indications of heredity in papillary ridges by Galton, upon whose investigations our knowledge of finger prints is based. His evidence on this point consisted of a statistical treatment of 150 fraternal couplets, an investigation of 17 sets of twins, and a comparison of children with their parents when both parents were like patterned. Galton himself pointed out that the number of his cases was too few to justify quantitative conclusions. The question has been investigated further by later workers, of whom the most recent is Mile. Kristine Bonnevie, of the University of Kristiania, who has had the finger prints of the Court of Justice of Kristiania placed at her disposal. This material covers 24,578 Norwegian criminals. The result of an examination of these data is published in the journal of Genetics, vol. 15, pt. i. The statistical investigation follows Galton's results very closely, showing a percentage for all fingers:—whorls 25–65, radial loops 5.81, ulnar loops 61.14, and arches 7.4, the distribution being characteristic for all fingers. A comparison with material from other races showed the total numerical occurrence of each pattern type to be characteristic of each race investigated, while the distribution of each type upon the various fingers showed in all races the same characteristics as in the Norwegian material. Among other conclusions of considerable importance, a number derived from data furnished by related individuals clearly suggest that finger patterns are hereditary. Further, there is seen to be a causal connexion between the appearance of the patterns and the shape of each finger-ball.

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    Research Items. Nature 115, 27–29 (1925) doi:10.1038/115027a0

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