Trivia

Hard

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

Gorillas
Chimpanzees
Koalas
Lemurs
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

Easy

1816 Is Known As “The Year Without A Summer” Because Of Events Triggered By?

Trivia

Hard

Which TV Show Was Originally Pitched As “Wagon Train to the Stars”?

Trivia

Hard

Which Technology Giant Actually Makes Most Of Its Money From Insurance Sales?

Trivia

Hard

Who Performed Darth Vader’s Iconic Light Saber Duels?

Trivia

Hard

Which Company Did Steve Jobs Ask To Build OSX-based Laptops?

Trivia

Very Hard

Comfort Noise Is A Tool Used Widely In Which Industry?

Trivia

Hard

Alfred Nobel Established the Nobel Prize After What?

Trivia

Hard

The Two Grumpy Old Men From The Muppet Show Were Named After?

Trivia

Hard

Which Movie Featured A Different Ending Depending On Which Theater You Saw It In?

Trivia

Hard

In South Korea, Citizens Are Required To Use Which Web Browser?