Anand CV Mallaya

Is there an evolutionary reason as to why the fingerprints are unique?

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Answer by A Quora admin:

Good question. As far as I know, there are no explanations yet.

My wild guess is that it could be a mathematical characteristic than an evolved trait. Morphology and Morphogenesis, the branch of biology which study about the form and structure of organisms are getting more associated with mathematics , so is Developmental biology.
Recent studies[1][2] confirm old theory proposed by mathematician Alan Turing on how patterns arise from simple reactions [3]. The patterns formed like stripes of zebra and tigers were able to explain by this model. Since finger prints are similar in nature, I strongly believe that it may be emerging from similar reactions which may not need to have to be beneficial if not harmful. The cellular division and the formation of skin may have similar dynamics which leads to the signature patterns. Since the DNA is unique, it may be affecting the reaction parameters indirectly.

[1] Page on
[2] Reaction Diffusion Equations and Animal Coat Patterns
[3] The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis – Alan M. Turing

Is there an evolutionary reason as to why the fingerprints are unique?


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