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Minutiae (/mɪˈnjʃii/; singular minutia /-ʃiə/; both also pronounced /-ʃə/) are, in everyday English, minor or incidental details.

In biometrics and forensic science, minutiae are major features of a fingerprint, using which comparisons of one print with another can be made. Minutiae include:

  • Ridge ending – the abrupt end of a ridge
  • Ridge bifurcation – a single ridge that divides into two ridges
  • Ridge trifurcation – a single ridge that divides into three ridges
  • Short ridge, or independent ridge – a ridge that commences, travels a short distance and then ends
  • Island – a single small ridge inside a short ridge or ridge ending that is not connected to all other ridges
  • Ridge enclosure – a single ridge that bifurcates and reunites shortly afterward to continue as a single ridge
  • Spur – a bifurcation with a short ridge branching off a longer ridge
  • Crossover or bridge – a short ridge that runs between two parallel ridges
  • Delta – a Y-shaped ridge meeting
  • Core – circle in the ridge pattern
  • Arch - a U-shape in the ridge pattern

See also[edit]