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, 60 (1), 61-7

A Comparison of Dermatoglyphic Methodologies in Population Studies

A Comparison of Dermatoglyphic Methodologies in Population Studies

R L Jantz et al. Am J Phys Anthropol.


Use of dermatoglyphics in population studies has been marked by a great deal of methodological variation among investigators. We compare various dermatoglyphic approaches using data derived from four groups in the Kumaon region of India. Dermatoglyphic data included ridge-counts and other quantitative variables, and the classification systems of Cummins and Midlo and Penrose and Loesch. Results were evaluated against anthropometric and serological relationships. No clearly superior approach emerges, although it is generally true that palmar variables exhibit more intergroup heterogeneity than digital variables and produce more reasonable results than the other approaches. The conventional method of treating ridge-counts, that of choosing the larger of the two counts, was the most unsatisfactory of the quantitative approaches, leading to the recommendation that both radial and ulnar counts be retained. We conclude that environmental variation may contribute substantially to intergroup variation.

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