Trivia

Hard

Which Creature’s Fingerprints Are Virtually Indistinguishable From A Human’s?

Chimpanzees
Koalas
Lemurs
Gorillas
A comparison between koala and human fingerprints that shows the similarities.
Macie Hennenberg, et al. and naturalSCIENCE/Live Science

Answer: Koalas

Textured ridges on the tips of the fingers, or fingerprints, are a common trait among primates. Humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas all have them. We could say that fingerprints are distinct to the primate family, except for their presence on koalas, those adorable Australian marsupials.

Even more interesting is that among all other animals with fingerprints, it is the koala that has fingerprints most similar to those of humans. So similar, in fact, that beneath the eye of a trained forensics specialist or even an electron microscope, they appear indistinguishable from each other. The photo above shows a comparison, both in standard fingerprint form and under an electron microscope, of human and koala fingerprints. The comparison, courtesy of researcher Macie Hennenberg, shows an adult male koala on the left and an adult male human on the right.

What’s particularly fascinating about koalas’ fingerprints is that they appear to be a recent (relatively speaking) evolutionary adaptation. While members of the primate family have fingerprints, other members of the marsupial family (to which the koala belongs) do not. This indicates that koalas developed fingerprints long after primates and modern koalas’ marsupial ancestors branched apart 70 million years ago. Like primates who have hands and digits adapted for grasping, the koala also spends much of its time grasping, and very sensitive and grippy fingertips, prints and all, help with that.

Trivia

Hard

The Only Actor Who Appears In Both The Star Trek Pilot And First Aired Episode Is?

Trivia

Easy

The Panama Hat Isn’t Originally From Panama, But?

Trivia

Easy

Urban Birds Line Their Nests With What Kind Of Trash To Deter Parasites?

Trivia

Hard

Who Coined The Term “Battery” To Describe An Electrical Storage Unit?

Trivia

Hard

The Underside Of Nuclear Bombers Are Traditionally Painted What Color?

Trivia

Hard

The Oldest Currency Still In Use Is The?

Trivia

Hard

An Early Attempt To Combat VHS Tape Piracy Involved What?

Trivia

Hard

Roller Coasters Originated In What Country?

Trivia

Hard

One Of The Hills Of Rome Is Composed Almost Entirely Of What?

Trivia

Hard

The First Smartphone-Powered Satellite Is Powered By The?