Asked by: Anonymous
The general type of fingerprint you have – such as the mixture of whorls, arches and loops – is genetically determined, but your specific pattern is not. This is moulded in the uterus from about three months’ gestation – so even twins don’t have identical fingerprints. Wounds and scratches can obliterate part of a fingerprint, but it will still grow back to the same individual pattern.
Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.