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G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, November 29, 2004

The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.

Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Students Learn Science Of Crime LONG BEACH PRESS-TELEGRAM, CA  - Nov. 28, 2004 ...there aren't too many high school classes where students splash simulated blood onto cardboard or make plaster casts from bite marks...

Canadian Forensics Technology Stars In CSI   CBC EDMONTON, CANADA  - Nov. 25, 2004 ...a Calgary-designed technology that lifts fingerprints from dangerous packages before it is destroyed was recently featured on the popular detective show...

DIY Fingerprint Idea Thwarts ID Thieves   REGISTER, UK - Nov. 24, 2004 ...UK man insists that credit can only be extended in his name on production of a thumbprint...

Jurors Focus On Fingerprints CNN, GA - Nov. 23, 2004 testified that he used several processes to lift prints from an empty prescription bottle but was unable to find a single trace...


Last week
we looked at a recent procedure published by the UK Police Scientific Development Branch as distributed by the FBI FSC to insure the accuracy and integrity of digital images.

This week

we examine a web page from, the website of Hans van den Nieuwendijk from the Netherlands.  On his Incipient Ridges page, he relates some excellent information and images of incipient ridges.  For the images, visit his web page on incipients:


Incipient ridges are also called “Interpapillary Lines”, “Interstitial, Rudimentary or Nascent Ridges”.
They occur in the furrow between the papillary lines on the volar epidermis. They are smaller, lower and mostly shorter than normal papillary lines. There are no sweat glands present. 

On the left site a print from the original finger on the right site.
The incipient ridges can be seen in both pictures.

-        Incipient Ridges develop a little bit later than papillary lines. They develop from the same basis formation but there grow stops at the same time as the grow from papillary lines. That is why they do not develop further and stay shorter and lower.

-        Incipient Ridges develop in the same way as normal lines. They have the same structures and are also permanent and invariable.

-        One can not give a clear border between a Incipient Ridge and a Papillary line. Incipient Ridges vary in adultness; there are small low lines and width almost adult lines. A Incipient Ridges can start or stop as a papillary line.

-        Incipient Ridges occur in about 45% of all people. But not in all fingers they occur in about 3 fingers average. From those figures we can say that Incipient Ridges are in 13.5% from all fingers.


Incipient Ridges can be seen in different proportions. One time they are greater, fatter and more visible than other times. Sometimes a line formation occurs as single dots other times as a longer stripe. That can be explained in different ways.

-  An Incipient Ridge is lower. More or less pressure explains there visibility on prints.

-  They also can be damaged, and grow back in there normal proportions.

-  The older one gets the more visible an Incipient Ridge can be. At persons under 20 year of age they occur in 34%, above the 20 in 52%. That can be explained because adults have bigger fingers where the papillary lines have more space between them and the fact that the skin from older people wears more because of work and age.


An important factor on there visibility is the pressure in relation with the surface. Sometimes an Incipient Ridge can be seen as a normal papillary line. That’s a result of the fact that more pressure shows an Incipient Ridge more. The more pressure on the surface the better an Incipient Ridge can be seen!

The next 4 pictures show the same part of a fingerprint but the pressure on the surface is at each picture a little bit more.

Picture  1

The first picture shows at (a) and (b) small Incipient Ridges.  The last picture shows the same two points at (a) and (b) but it not so clear if it is an Incipient Ridge or an papillary line. The line is only a fraction smaller, the separate dots joined into a united line and even a sweat gland can be seen (look at the circle at picture 2 below).


Picture 2


A Ridge can be seen as an Incipient Ridge or as a papillary line. That depends on the pressure that took place on the surface. Differences in a comparison can be explained as a result of pressure.

Incipient Ridges are very useful in the identification process. It is possible to identify a very small part of a fingerprint as can be seen in picture 3 and 4! The red dots refer to the normal minutiae and the blue dots to the Incipient Ridges.  


picture 3


picture 4


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Have a GREAT week!