This section contains MCQs from Chapter 13 Part 1: Fingerprints from Forensic Science Book By Nordby, James, and Suzanne.

Note: Check more MCQs chapter-wise from the Forensic Science book by Nordby, James, and Suzanne.

1. What are the features of fingerprints that make them suitable for personal identification?

  1. Their unique patterns and the ability to change over time
  2. Their unique patterns and permanence throughout a person’s lifetime
  3. The presence of friction ridges and their genetic basis
  4. Both (2) and (3)

Answer: (2) Their unique patterns and permanence throughout a person’s lifetime

-> Every fingerprint is unique.
-> Fingerprint does not change during their lifetime unless they are damaged to the dermal skin layer.

2. Why do identical twins have different and distinguishable fingerprints?

  1. The basic shapes of the patterns and ridges are not determined solely by genetics.
  2. They have different friction ridge skin patterns.
  3. They have different genetic make-up.
  4. Both (1) and (2)

Answer: (4) Both (1) and (2)

Explanation: Although an individual’s genetic makeup probably plays a part in determining the sizes and basic shapes of the patterns and ridges, it is not the only factor.

3. Hills and valleys on the friction ridge skin called

  1. Hills: Ridges, Valleys: Furrows
  2. Hills: Furrows, Valleys: Ridges
  3. Hills: Grooves, Valleys: Depressions
  4. Hills: Peaks, Valleys: Troughs

Answer: (1) Hills: Ridges, Valleys: Furrows

Explanation: The hills are called ridges and the valleys are called furrows.

4. Which of the following organizations is associated with the field of fingerprint identification?

(a) International Association for Identification
(b) Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology (SWGFAST)
(c) Global Fingerprint Database
(d) Forensic Science Society

Choose the correct option from the list:

  1. (a) and (b)
  2. (b) and (c)
  3. (b) and (d)
  4. (c) and (d)

Answer: (1) (a) and (b)

5. Which among the following are the most complex fingerprint pattern?

  1. Arch
  2. Loop
  3. Whorl
  4. Delta

Answer: (3) Whorl

-> Whorl patterns are the most complex of fingerprint patterns.
-> There are several whorl categories, such as a central pocket, double loop, and accidental.

6. What are the two definable features in loop and whorl patterns?

  1. Core and radius
  2. Core and delta
  3. Ulna and delta
  4. Radius and ulna

Answer: (2) Core and delta

-> Loop and whorl patterns contain definable features called the core and the delta.
-> Loops have one core and one delta.
-> Whorls have at least one core and 2 deltas.

7. What are the three ways ridges of a fingerprint form minutiae?

  1. Delta, core, and dot
  2. Delta, core, and island
  3. Ending ridge, bifurcation, and dot
  4. Ending ridge, bifurcation, and island

Answer: (3) Ending ridge, bifurcation, and dot

Explanation: When single ridges form minutiae by:
-> Ending abruptly (ending ridge)
-> Splitting into two ridges (bifurcation), or
-> Being short in length like a punctuation mark at the end of a sentence (dot).

When there is a combination of these minutiae they form distinctive details.
-> Example: when two bifurcations facing each other form island.

8. Which European is often credited with being the first to recognize the value of fingerprints as a means of personal identification?

  1. Alphonse Bertillon
  2. Francis Galton
  3. Sir William Herschel
  4. Johann Caspar Lavater

Answer: (3) Sir William Herschel

-> Sir William Herschel, a British administrator in India, is often credited with being the first European to recognize the value of fingerprints as a means of personal identification in 1853.

9. What was the primary purpose of Sir William Herschel’s use of fingerprints?

  1. Art authentication
  2. Controlling fraud in contracts
  3. Identifying missing persons
  4. Criminal investigations

Answer: (2) Controlling fraud in contracts

Explanation: Sir William Herschel developed the use of fingerprints as a means of controlling fraud in contracts, false impersonations in government pension distributions, and other matters.

10. Which country had evidence of fingerprint recognition hundreds of years before Sir William Herschel?

  1. Egypt
  2. Greece
  3. Rome
  4. China

Answer: (4) China

Explanation: There are records of using fingerprints and handprints as marks of authenticity in China at least 2000 years ago.

11. Over what period did Sir William Herschel demonstrate the persistence of ridge patterns in fingerprints?

  1. 10 years
  2. 25 years
  3. 50 years
  4. Lifetime

Answer: (3) 50 years

Explanation: Sir William Herschel demonstrated the persistence of the ridge patterns in his own fingerprints taken periodically over a period exceeding 50 years.

12. Dr. Henry Faulds was _________ by training and profession before he went to India as medical missionary in 1871.

  1. Scottish Archaeologist
  2. Scottish physician
  3. Scottish psychiatrist
  4. Scottish chemist

Answer: (2) Scottish physician

Explanation: Dr. Henry Faulds, a Scottish physician by training and profession, went to India as a medical missionary in 1871 before traveling to Japan in 1872.

13. What important discovery did Dr. Henry Faulds make about fingerprints around 1880?

  1. They can be used for personal identification.
  2. They are more reliable than anthropometric measurements.
  3. They cannot be altered or removed.
  4. They can be classified, and ridge detail is unique.

Answer: (4) They can be classified, and ridge detail is unique.

Explanation: Around 1880, Faulds noted that fingerprints could be classified, and that ridge detail is unique.

14. To whom did Dr. Henry Faulds write a letter regarding fingerprints in 1880?

  1. Sir William Herschel
  2. Charles Darwin
  3. Francis Galton
  4. Albert Einstein

Answer: (2) Charles Darwin

-> Dr. Henry Faulds wrote a letter to Charles Darwin in 1880, discussing his observations about fingerprints.
-> Darwin then forwarded the letter to Francis Galton.

15. In which British journal did Dr. Henry Faulds publish his observations on fingerprints in 1880?

  1. Nature
  2. The Lancet
  3. The Royal Society
  4. British Medical Journal

Answer: (1) Nature

Explanation: Dr. Henry Faulds recorded many of his observations on fingerprints in a letter to the British journal Nature in 1880.

16. Who was in dispute with Dr. Henry Faulds over the priority of fingerprint use as a means of personal identification?

  1. Charles Darwin
  2. Francis Galton
  3. Sir William Herschel
  4. Louis Pasteur

Answer: (3) Sir William Herschel

-> There was some dispute between Faulds and Herschel over the priority of fingerprint use as a means of personal identification.
-> However, it is fair to say that Herschel and Faulds were very influential in introducing the idea of fingerprints to continental Europe in the later 19th century

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    1. The answer is correct. However, the option number was incorrect. I also add additional information in the explanation to make it more clear. You can reference the answer to Pg. 332. Nordby Book

    2. Dr Henry Faulds died in march 1930. Then how he went Japan in 1972 ??Please review again your the explanation of Q. 12.
      Thank you!