Trivia

Hard

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

Chimpanzees
Lemurs
Gorillas
Koalas
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

Very Hard

The Strongest Biological Substance Found In Nature Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Game Console Has the Most Titles?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Aliens On The Simpsons Were Named After?

Trivia

Hard

Extended Time Space Walking Can Cause Astronauts’ What To Fall Off/Out?

Trivia

Hard

The Quietest Place On Earth Is Located Where?

Trivia

Hard

The “10,000 Steps A Day For Better Health” Idea Originated With?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Object Has The Longest Orbital Period In Our Solar System?

Trivia

Hard

Who Divided The Day Into 24 Hours?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Term “Slush Fund” Has Its Origins In?