Personal Identity | Anatomy2Medicine

Personal Identity

    • Bertillonage
      • The first modern system of criminal identification was Bertillonage
      • Bertillonage is a system for the identification of criminals making use of anthropometric measurements — including head size, arm span, scars, distinguishing features and the like.
    • “Davidson body is an indicator of: Sex


  • Chilotic line


      • It is present on the hipbone  (MCQ)
      • is the line extended backwards from the iliopectineal eminence to the nearest point on the anterior margin of the auricular surface and then to the iliac crest.
      • useful in the determination of sex
      • pelvic part of the chilotic line being relatively prominent in the female, the sacral part in the male.
    • Cheiloscopy is study of lip prints
    • Corpus delicti (MCQ)
      • The meaning of corpus delicti is “body of crime” or “essence of crime”. It is used mostly in relation to murder, and
      • It is used to denote that evidence, which confirms that the person is indeed dead.
      • If for example, a child is found missing from a village, it would be difficult to conclude that he has been murdered, until and unless some evidence is brought forthwith which conclusively proves that the person is indeed dead.
      • This could include his dead body, a photograph of his dead body, his blood stained clothes, his severed head etc. All these from corpus delicti.
    • Dactylography is surest or the most reliable method of identification  (A very high yield MCQ)


  • Dactylography is sometimes referred to as Galton system or Galton method (MCQ)


    • Cephalic Index – A very high yield topic for PG Medical entrance
      • If maximum breath of the skull is taken as “B”, its maximum Length as “L”, and its maximum height as “H”, the Cephalic index would be denoted by formula – (B/L) x 100 (MCQ)
      • The Brachycephalic (short) type of skull is seen in Mongolians
      • A head with a width that measures less than 75% of its length is termed dolichocephalic.
      • One with a width that measures between 75 to 79.9% of its length is termed mesati cephalic (or mesocephalic).
      • One with a width that is more than 80% of its length is termed brachycephalic.


  • The cephalic index ceased to be used as a racial trait


      • The Cephalic index of Indians is between: 75-80 (MCQ)
      • If one or more cranial sutures fuse prematurely (craniosynostosis) it may result in an abnormal head shape.
      • Brachycephaly: Early bilateral coronal suture fusion. (MCQ)
      • Scaphocephaly: Early fusion of the sagittal suture.
      • Anterior plagiocephaly: Early fusion of 1 coronal suture.
      • Posterior plagiocephaly: Early closure of 1 lambdoid suture.
      • Trigonocephaly: Early fusion of the metopic suture.
    • Crual index is calculated as (Length of tibia/ Length of femur)  x 100


  • Examination of DNA for evidence


      • X-chromosome can usually be demonstrated by Feulgen reaction (MCQ)
      • Y-chromosome can be demonstrated by: Quinacrine staining (MCQ)
      • “Barr bodies” were first demonstrated by: Mary Barr and Ewart Bertram
      • If a person has been accused of gagging someone, and the gagging material has been recovered from the accused’s house, detection of buccal epithelium on the gagging material may help to establish the sex of the victim (AIIMS MCQ)
      • In gonadal agenesis, the nuclear sexing is: Negative (Not male or female)
      • Chromosomal   pattern in Turner’s syndrome is 45/XO
    • Colonel Victor Barker’s case was a case of Concealed sex
      • Barker was born a female who acted like a man
      • Baker was indicted for bankruptcy. It soon emerged that the ‘Colonel’ was a woman who had been passing herself off as an Army officer for years. She was charged with perjury and with making a false statement in a marriage register and in court.


  • Skelton for identification of Sex


    • Pelvis bones give maximum accuracy in sexing (Very high yield MCQ)
    • According to Krogman, the accuracy in sexing the adult human skeleton is as follows: Entire skeleton, 100%; Pelvis alone, 95%; Skull alone 90%, Pelvis plus skull 98%, Long bones alone 80%.


  • Male vs Female Skelton (MCQ)


    • Digastric groove is deeper in males.
    • Frontal eminence is small in males.
    • Foramen magnum is relatively large and long in males, and relatively small and round in females.
    • Until the age of puberty there is little difference between the skull of the two sexes
    • Male skull (MCQ)
        • capacity of the male skull is about 10% more than that of the female
        • Orbits have rounded margins
        • Mastoid process is round
        • Foramen magnum is larger
      • Preauricular sulcus is used for the determination of Sex
    • Dentition ( A very very high yield topic for MD Entrance which is frequently tested)
    • 3rd Molar has no significant difference in the age of eruption in the four quadrants(MCQ)
    • Human primary dentition
      • Premolars are not present
      • Molars , Canines , Incisors are present
      • The dental formula of children is: 2102/2102 (MCQ)
      • The dental formula of adult human beings is: 2123/2123 (MCQ)
      • First deciduous tooth appears at the age of 6-8 months
      • Famous Mnemonic for deciduous teeth: South Indian Idlis, mothers can make.


  • South


          • Indicates lower teeth appear first (especially incisors)


  • Indian


          • Incisors central (lower) – 6 months
          • Incisors, central (upper) – 8 months


  • Idlis


          • Incisors, lateral (upper)- 10 months (Lateral incisors are an exception, in as much as the upper appear first)
          • Incisors, lateral (lower) – 12 months


  • Mothers


          • Molars (first)->14 months
        • Can
          • Canine-» 18 months
        • Make
        • Molars (second) – 24-30 months
        • Remember, the ages start at 6 months.
        • After this one goes on adding 2 months to go to next step.
        • Nothing appears at 16, 20 and 22 months.
    • Permanent  lateral incisor  appears approximately at the age of 8 years


  • Famous mnemonic for the order of appearance of permanent teeth


        • Mama Is In Pain; Papa Can Make Medicine
        • The first letter of each word indicates the first letter of the maxillary tooth.


  • These eruption ages are true for maxillary teeth (MCQ)


      • Generally speaking, the mandibular teeth would appear a few months earlier
      • The major exception is in the case of canines, which appear lot earlier – almost 2 years earlier. Thus the lower canine would appear at 9 years.
      • Premolars are an exception in the sense that they appear earlier in the upper jaw first.  (MCQ)
      • Thus lower first premolar would appear at 10 years, and lower second premolar would appear at 11 years.  (MCQ)


  • A child has a total of 24 teeth. His probable age is between 6 to 11 years


    • Child completes his primary dentition at two and a half years of age.
    • The total number of teeth at this time is 20.
    • Personal Identity

      If a child has 20 permanent teeth and 4 temporary teeth, his age is likely to be 10 years
      6 to 11 years is the age of mixed dentition
      Third molars are permanent teeth that are most erratic in eruption and of little value in determining age
      Gustafson’s method (MCQ)Age from teeth is estimated by Gustafson’s method
      criteria used in Gustafson’s method
      Root resorption
      Secondary dentin formation
      Gustafson’s method for age determination from teeth is most useful at age above 25 years  (MCQ)
      Transparency of the root is  the MOST  useful single criterion in Gustafson’s method  (MCQ)
      Total weight of adult male skeleton is 4.5 kg
      Total weight of adult female skeleton is 3 kg
      The two halves of mandible join together by 2nd year of life
      The mental foramen is close to alveolar margin in Old age
      mental foramen is at its lowest position during infancy and as the age advances it “migrates upwards”, till in the old age it reaches the alveolar border.
      Ossification center for lunate appears at 4 years (MCQ)
      Head of humerus unites with the shaft at the age of 18 years (MCQ)
      Anterior fontanelle closess by 2 years (MCQ)
      Posterior fontanelle closes by 2 months
      The greater cornu of the hyoid bone unites with the body between 40 and 60 yearsCoronal suture is completely obliterated by 25 years (MCQ)

      Indian Majority

      Indian Majority

    • A person is called a Juvenile or child when he is below the age of 18 years
        • A person becomes a major under Indian Majority Act 1875, when he completes theage of 18 years
        • Under the Indian Railways Act, 1989 the minimum age for criminal responsibility is not prescribed anywhere . Common wrong notion for PG Medical aspirants is that it is 5 years

    • According to Indian Penal Code, the minimum age for criminal responsibility is 7 years
        • Rule of Haase is used to determine the age of fetus (a high yield MCQ for PG Medical entrance)
          • According to this rule, the crown-heel (CH) length in cm bears a special relation to its age in lunar months.
          • For the first five lunar months, the age of the fetus in lunar months is the square root of the CH length of the fetus in cms.
            • A fetus of 1 month is lcm; 2 months = 4 cm; 3 months = 9 cms; 4 months =16 cms and 5 months = 25 cms.
          • After fifth month, the age is calculated  by dividing the CH length by 5.
            • A 6 month old fetus is 30 cm, 7 months = 35 cm; 8  months = 40 cm; 9 months = 45 cms and 10 months (or full term) is 50 cms.
          • 3 important facts need to be remembered about Hasses rule
            • First is that the length is CH length and NOT Crown-Rump (CR) length.
            • Secondly the age is measured in lunar months (1 lunar month = 28 days) and NOT in calender months
            • finally the length of the fetus is measured in cm and NOT in inches.

    • Boyde’s method is used to determine age
        • Boyde devised a method of accurate age estimation from changes in teeth (MCQ)
        • Boyde devised a method whereby age of a person could be determined by counting incremental lines in teeth in histological sections (just as one counts the age of a tree by counting its annual rings).
        • Postmortem changes in length of the body

    • Immediately after death; the body may lengthen by about 2-3 cm.
        • When rigor mortis develops later, the body actually shortens

    • When decomposition sets in, joints become lax, and the body may lengthen once again.
        • Steele’s formula
          • Formula determine the stature frorm fragmentary long bones
          • In archaeological material it is rather rare for one to find complete long bones; fragmentary bones are found instead
          • Steele developed regression formulae for specified segments of the femur, humerus, and tibia to aid in the estimation of total long bone lengths from fragmentary remains.
        • The multiplication factor for estimation of height from femur is 3.6 (MCQ)
          • Multiplication factors
            • Femur -3.6-3.8
            • Tibia and Fibula – 4.48
            • Humerus – 5.3
            • ulna  -6.0-6.3
            • radius -6.7-6.9
        • Anthropometry (Bertillonage)

    • Anthropometry was started by Alphonse Bertillon (MCQ)
          • Bertillon system has been called a tripartite system,  whereby three means of description were taken
          • criteria Included in the Bertillon system

    • Descriptive data
    • Body marks
    • Body measurements
          • Example of descriptive data – lips might be “pouting”, “thick” or “thin” or “upper prominent” or “lower prominent”
          • 11 measurements of the body were taken in Bertillon system
          • The measurements he took were (i) Length of the head (ii) width of the head (iii) length of left middle finger (iv) length of left little finger (v) height (vi) sitting height (height of trunk) (vii) span of arms (viij) length of right ear (ix) width of right ear (x) length of left forearm (xi) length of left foot.
          • The system of identification used in Bertillon system is called Portrait parle
            • Portrait parle literally means “a spoken portrait”. I
            • it is called so because in his system Bertillon insisted to have two photographs of the criminal – one full face and one in profile. This was the portrait.

    • It became “spoken” because Bertillon added two additional things to it – body description and body marks.
      • Fingerprint types– (A high yield topic for PG Medical entrance )

    • Least common type of fingerprints are Arches (if composite is in choices in  MCQ , then it is the answer)
      • Most common type of fingerprints are Loops
      • fingerprints are divided into three types: Arches, Whorls and Loops.
        • 5% of the total population have arches
        • 35% have whorls
        • 60% have loops.
      • Mnemonic crAWL – Arches, Whorls and Loops.
      • A fourth type also —Composite—which is a mixture of the above three types.
      • If this is taken as a genuine separate class, then it becomes the rarest (it is supposed to be present in only 1 -2% cases).

    • Poroscopy
        • Identification by poroscopy was started by Edmond Locard

    • Locard’s exchange principle
      • there are about 9-18 sweat pores on each mm of the friction ridges over fingers. These pores have specific size and shape in each person.
      • Furthermore they are permanent and immutable during life, making them excellent features for identification.
      • Poroscopy is supposed to be very useful when only fragmentary fingerprints are available.

    • Edgeoscopy
        • refers to the use of ridge edges in conjunction with other friction ridge detail following for identification
        • Each millimeter of friction ridge contains 9-18 pores

    • These sweat pores range in size from 88 to 220 microns.
      • latent prints. Vs visible prints vs plastic prints..
      • If fingerprints are invisible or barely visible, they are commonly referred to as latent prints.
      • Fingerprints which have been made after the hand was contaminated with blood or some other staining material are known as visible prints
      • Prints made on soft surfaces such as soap, cheese, butter are known as plastic prints..
        • Dactylography was invented by Sir William Herschel
        • World’s first fingerprint bureau was established in Calcutta
        • Cheiloscopy is the study of Lip prints

    • Scar
        • An abrasion does not result in a scar
        • A scar is devoid of elastic tissue
        • A scar is devoid of sweat glands

    • A scar remains tender upto Six months
    • A scar is completely avascular in 2 months.
    • Tattoos
          • Tattoos are useful in identifying:

    • Dead bodies
    • Living persons
    • Decomposed bodies
          • Sydney Shark case is famous for Tattoo marks
            • Shark-arm case – is an interesting case in which identification of a person was estab lished by a tattoo on an arm.
          • An obliterated tattoo can best be detected by histological study of the regional lymph nodes that show the dye used for tattooing.
        • Trichology is the study of Hair
          • Hair grows at the rate of 0.4 mm/day
          • Nails grow at the rate of 0.1 mm/day
          • The layers of the human hair are scales, cortex and medulla
          • Cuticle is the outermost layer in human hair
          • Cortex
            • is the middle layer and consists of longitudinally arranged, elongated cells.
            • These cells do not have nuclei, but contain pigment granules.
          • Cross section of human hair ( A very high yield MCQ )
            • Mongoloid – Circular
            • Caucasoid  -Oval.    
            • Negroid  -Almost kidney shaped.
          • One of the ways human hair is differentiated from animal hair is by seeing the way pigmentation is distributed in the hair.
            • Pigmentation is seen in middle layer (cortex).
            • Within the cortex if the pigmentation is more evenly distributed, it is taken to be a human hair
            • if the pigmentation is concentrated towards the inner medullary layer, it is taken to be animal hair.
          • Distribution of Pigmentation of hair and race
            • It is the Mongoloid hair which is believed to show a real even distribution (of pigment granules) throughout the cortex.

    • In both Caucasoid and Negroid head hair, the pigmentation tends to be localized around the outside.
      • Callosities present on the center of the forehead of a person indicate his religion
        • Mohammaden males often show callosities on the center of forehead, patella, tuberosity of left tibia and tip of left lateral (external) malleolus owing to special attitudes adopted during prayers. In an unidentified male body, it is useful to look for these callosities.