Types of Fingerprints
Fingerprints are unique patterns of ridges and valleys found on the fingers, thumbs, and palms of human hands. These patterns can be classified into several main types. Here are the most common types of fingerprints:
Loop fingerprints are the most common type, making up approximately 60-65% of all fingerprints. They have one or more ridges entering from one side of the fingerprint and exiting from the same side, forming a loop-like pattern. Loop fingerprints can be further classified as radial loops (opening toward the thumb) or ulnar loops (opening toward the little finger).
Whorl fingerprints form circular or spiral patterns. They have at least one ridge that makes a complete circuit, creating a central point known as the core. Whorl fingerprints can be further categorized as plain whorls (a circular pattern with at least one ridge making a complete circuit) or double loop whorls (two separate loop formations).
Arch fingerprints have ridges that enter on one side of the print and exit on the other side, forming a wave-like pattern. They are the least common type of fingerprint, accounting for approximately 5% of all fingerprints. Arch fingerprints can be further classified as plain arches (a smooth wave-like pattern) or tented arches (a more pointed or spiked pattern).
These three main types of fingerprints—loop, whorl, and arch—provide the basis for fingerprint identification and classification. However, within each type, there can be further variations and subtypes based on the specific ridge patterns and characteristics observed. The uniqueness and individuality of fingerprints make them a valuable tool in forensic science and biometric identification.