Are Fingerprint Patterns Similar in Twins

The Objective : This researcher's goal is to discover if the fingerprint patterns of twins are similar or different. If it is determined that there is a similarity in the fingerprint patterns of twins, is the similarity greater than that of non-twin siblings?


Materials: black ink pad, white unlined note cards, hand-held magnifying glass


(1) Obtain the fingerprints of 15 sets of twins and 15 sets of non-twin siblings;

(2) Analyze the fingerprints with a hand-held magnifying glass


This researcher's hypothesis stated that 85-90% of the twins tested would have at least a 60% similarity rate (that is, three out of five prints), compared to only 65-70% of the non-twin siblings tested.

The results of this experiment show that only 80% of the twins tested have at least a 60% similarity rate, compared to 73% of the non-twin siblings tested.

However, when separated into two groups, identical twins have a 100% similarity rate and fraternal twins have a 73% similarity rate.


The identical twins had an average of 4 similar prints, the fraternal twins had an average of 3.36 similar prints, the identical and fraternal twins combined had an aveage of 3.53 similar prints, and the non-twin siblings had an average of 3.2 similar prints. There is great similarity in the fingerprint patterns of all family members due to shared DNA, but the greatest similarity is with identical twins because they come from one egg and share all of their DNA.

Twins have a greater similarity in their fingerprint patterns than non-twin siblings, but only when identical twins and fraternal twins are combined together.

Science Fair Project done By Michael G. Russell



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