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Quiz about Fingerprints
Quiz about Fingerprints

Fingerprints Trivia Quiz


Everything you've ever wanted to know about fingerprints!

A multiple-choice quiz by MotherGoose. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
MotherGoose
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
170,308
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
7 / 15
Plays
16827
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 71 (6/15), Guest 142 (9/15), Guest 131 (15/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. Which of these is a name given to the examination of fingerprints? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. What is the function of the ridges on our fingers which create fingerprints? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. What causes fingerprints to be left behind when we touch things? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. Which of the following is NOT one of the three basic types of fingerprint patterns? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. At what age do human beings acquire fingerprints? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. Which of the following statements about fingerprints is NOT true? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. Which animal is said to have fingerprints virtually indistinguishable from those of human beings? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. Why is it usually impossible to obtain fingerprints from textiles such as fabric, clothing and carpet? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. Who is generally recognised as being the first person to use fingerprints as a means of identification? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. In the USA, what is the minimum number of matching points required to identify an unknown latent print? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. In which country was the first case of a criminal conviction based on fingerprint evidence? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. In 1902, Henry (Harry) Jackson became the first person in the United Kingdom to be convicted on fingerprint evidence. What was his crime? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. In 1910, Thomas Jennings became the first person in the United States of America to be convicted on fingerprint evidence. What was his crime? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. Who was responsible for starting the first national fingerprint register in America in the 1920s? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. Which famous author was the first to utilise fingerprint evidence to solve a fictional crime? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
May 29 2024 : Guest 71: 6/15
May 28 2024 : Guest 142: 9/15
May 28 2024 : Guest 131: 15/15
May 28 2024 : Guest 168: 9/15
May 28 2024 : Guest 68: 9/15
May 27 2024 : Guest 47: 4/15
May 27 2024 : Guest 174: 8/15
May 24 2024 : Guest 152: 12/15
May 24 2024 : Guest 71: 8/15

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which of these is a name given to the examination of fingerprints?

Answer: dactyloscopy

Dactyloscopy comes from the Greek words 'daktylos' meaning finger and 'skopein' meaning to examine. Entomology is the study of insects, trichology is the study of hair and palynology is the study of pollens and spores.
2. What is the function of the ridges on our fingers which create fingerprints?

Answer: They enable us to grasp objects.

Fingerprints are impressions made by the ridges on the ends of the fingers and thumbs. These ridges provide friction, or traction, when we grasp objects so that those objects do not slip through our fingers. Scientists also believe that they may enhance our sense of touch.
3. What causes fingerprints to be left behind when we touch things?

Answer: the natural oils in the skin

The skin's sebaceous glands produce natural oils which, together with the salts produced by our sweat glands, leave a fingerprint residue when we touch most objects.
4. Which of the following is NOT one of the three basic types of fingerprint patterns?

Answer: spirals

Sir Francis Galton was the first person to classify fingerprints into different types based on the three basic features of loops, arches and whorls. His book 'Fingerprints' was published in 1892. In 1896, Sir Edward Henry established five basic features, adding tented arches to Galton's three types and dividing loops into two types (radial and ulnar).
5. At what age do human beings acquire fingerprints?

Answer: at three months' gestation

The human foetus acquires fingerprints at three months' gestation. It is the slight difference in the womb environment that causes identical twins to be born with similar, but not identical, fingerprints.
6. Which of the following statements about fingerprints is NOT true?

Answer: Fingerprints are no more similar between two family members than between two strangers.

Fingerprints are impressions made by the ridges on the ends of the fingers and thumbs that are unique for every human being, even identical twins. These ridges do not change with growth or age. Superficial burns, cuts and scrapes do not affect fingerprints as the original pattern is maintained when the new skin grows. Only severe injury or surgery will alter fingerprints. General characteristics of fingerprints (such as whorls, arches and loops) can be inherited, therefore family members do tend have similar fingerprint patterns.
7. Which animal is said to have fingerprints virtually indistinguishable from those of human beings?

Answer: koala

Koalas have ridges on their fingers which create fingerprints almost identical to those of human beings. According to a number of websites, this means that koala fingerprints could be confused for human fingerprints at a crime scene. However, there are some differences which make this an unlikely event. Koalas have two thumbs on each hand and they also have claws instead of fingernails. Human beings have ridges over all of their palms, whereas koalas only have ridges over part of their palms.

Not to mention the fact that koalas are rarely found at crime scenes!
8. Why is it usually impossible to obtain fingerprints from textiles such as fabric, clothing and carpet?

Answer: because textiles are very absorbent

Textile fibres absorb the oils and moisture present on the fingers and are very porous. There are three types of fingerprints - latent, visible and plastic (molded). Latent prints are invisible to the eye and are usually obtained from hard surfaces such as glass or wood. Visible prints are those that result from fingers stained with blood, ink, paint or similar.

The plastic or molded print is an impression made on a soft surface like putty, soap or cheese.
9. Who is generally recognised as being the first person to use fingerprints as a means of identification?

Answer: Sir William Herschel

Sir William Herschel, a magistrate and government administrator in colonial India, began using fingerprints in July 1858. He used thumb impressions to identify illiterate prisoners and workers in India and also to seal contracts made with the locals.
10. In the USA, what is the minimum number of matching points required to identify an unknown latent print?

Answer: there is no minimum

There is no international standard for the number of minimum matching points required for a positive identification. Some countries used to have a set number, for example, the United Kingdom required 16 points while Australia required 12. There is no set number of minimum matching points required in the United States of America, although 12 is a guideline. Experts now agree that there is no scientific basis for such a requirement.
11. In which country was the first case of a criminal conviction based on fingerprint evidence?

Answer: Argentina

In 1892, Juan Vucetich, a police researcher in Argentina, used fingerprints to prove that Francesca Rojas murdered her two children by taking her thumb print and matching it to a bloody thumbprint left behind on a door. When confronted with the evidence, the mother broke down and admitted killing her children because they stood in the way of her marriage to a young lover.

She was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
12. In 1902, Henry (Harry) Jackson became the first person in the United Kingdom to be convicted on fingerprint evidence. What was his crime?

Answer: burglary

Henry Jackson was a burglar who placed his hands in wet paint during a robbery, thus leaving behind his fingerprints. Jackson was sentenced to seven years in jail for stealing billiard balls.
13. In 1910, Thomas Jennings became the first person in the United States of America to be convicted on fingerprint evidence. What was his crime?

Answer: murder

Thomas Jennings was convicted of murder after he broke into a house and shot the home-owner during an attempted burglary. He left his prints behind on a freshly painted railing. This was the first American murder trial to admit fingerprint testimony.

Although the verdict was appealed, the Appeals Court accepted that the fingerprint evidence was scientifically valid. Jennings was hanged.
14. Who was responsible for starting the first national fingerprint register in America in the 1920s?

Answer: J Edgar Hoover

John Edgar Hoover was director of the FBI for almost 48 years, from 1924 until his death in 1972. He was responsible for establishing one of the best forensic laboratories in the world, as well as a national fingerprint register. The FBI's fingerprint data base is the largest one in the world.
15. Which famous author was the first to utilise fingerprint evidence to solve a fictional crime?

Answer: Mark Twain

In 1883, Mark Twain based the solution of a crime on fingerprint evidence in his book 'Life on the Mississippi' and again in 'The Tragedy of Pudd'n Head Wilson'(1884).
Source: Author MotherGoose

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor crisw before going online.
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