The purpose of my experiment is to find out if fingerprint patterns are inherited and is one pattern more dominant within the same family. My hypothesis is that fingerprint patterns are inherited and the father’s fingerprint pattern would be more dominant. I tested my hypothesis by taking all 16 members of my family’s fingerprint and also taking the fingerprint of other families. I then identified each fingerprint pattern as either a whorl, loop, or an arch. I then compared the children’s fingerprints to their parents and also counted how many fingerprint patterns matched the father versus the mother’s fingerprint pattern. My hypothesis proved to be  correct that fingerprint patterns are inherited from the parent as all of the children had a fingerprint pattern that matched one of their parents. I also believe that the father’s gene may be dominant as more children had the same pattern as their father. 



While you are still in your mother’s womb your fingerprints begin to form around weeks 10 and continue to week 24. Ridges are formed on the epidermis, which is the outer layer of your skin. Your fingerprint never changes over time, they will get bigger over time but will not change. Fingerprints can be very helpful in identifying people. The FBI and many police departments use fingerprints to identify criminals. There are three different types of fingerprint patterns; the whorl, the loop and the arch. DNA from your parents determine what type of fingerprint pattern you will have just like it determines if you will be right or left-handed or the color of your eyes.


Data and Results

Family 1
Dad: whorl
Mom: loop
Sister 1: whorl
Sister 2: whorl
Sister 3: loop
Sister 4: whorl
Sister 5: loop
Sister 6: whorl
Sister 7: loop
Brother 1: loop
Brother 2: whorl
Brother 3: loop
Brother 4: whorl
Brother 5: whorl
Brother 6: loop
Brother 7: whorl

Family 2
Dad: arch
Mom: loop
Son: loop

Family 3
Dad: arch
Mom: loop
Daughter: arch
Son: arch

Family 4
Dad: loop
Mom: whorl
Son: loop
Son: whorl



Materials Needed


Me taking my brother’s fingerprint


My sister putting her finger onto the ink pad.


My sister putting her finger on the paper.


My other sister stamping her fingerprint.


And another sister stamping her finger.


The collection of fingerprints I took from my family.


A closer examination of the fingerprints with a magnigfying glass.


Another picture of the fingerprints along with the category Iabel.


  • The purpose of my experiment was to determine if fingerprint patterns are inherited  and is one pattern more dominant within the same family. My plan was to get 4 different families fingerprints and compare them to one another. Therefore I needed to get an ink pad, paper, a magnifying glass and wipes to conduct this experiment. I believe the results of my experiment came out the way I thought they would. If I did this experiment again I would definitely use more families to get a better conclusion as to whether a father’s gene is dominant. 
  • In conclusion, I found that my hypothesis was right. Fingerprints are inherited from biological parents and that possibly the father’s gene is more dominant than the mother’s.


  • I would like to thank my mom for helping me with this project. Without her knowledge of blog publishing I would have not been able to present this science project.  I would also like to thank her for helping me find a topic and for showing me how to properly fingerprint a person.
  • I would also like to thank my family and the other people who allowed me to fingerprint them for this project.


“Are Fingerprint Patterns Inherited?” Are Fingerprint Patterns Inherited? Space Buddies, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 03 May 2013. <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Genom_p009.shtml&gt;.

FBI. (n.d.). Taking Legible Fingerprints. Federal Bureau of Investigations, Criminal Justice Information Services. Retrieved February 12, 2008 fromhttp://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/takingfps.html

“Fingerprint.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 05 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerprint&gt;.