Saturday, 10 April 2010

A curious thing we have in common with koalas

I had an email from a researcher at the University of Massachusetts whose speciality is the formation of patterns on surfaces, such as fingerprints.

The reason he contacted me is that he wanted to use the photo I’d taken of the sole of a koala’s foot during an ultrasound.

Yet another thing that makes koalas unique is that their fingerprints tend to incorporate more dots or dimples than ridges. Amazingly, their fingerprints look very similar to human fingerprints to untrained eye and are unique to each animal, just like in humans. You can read more about it here.

I’d like to see THAT wend its way into a forensic crime series:
“Sorry, but this fingerprint isn’t human. It’s marsupial. Phascolarctos cinereus, to be precise. The suspect you’re looking for is a koala!”

Click here to view more koala hospital snaps.