Palatal Rugae Patterns of Urhobos in Abraka, South-Southern Nigeria

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Dennis E. O. Eboh


Human identification is a major task undertaken in forensic sciences. Palato-rugoscopy is based on the principle that no two palates are the same. The study of palatine rugae and the study of fingerprints are sometimes complementary as they operate in similar methods based on same scientific basis. The study intends to describe the shape and gender distribution of the palatine rugae and their prevalence in the studied population. The study sample consisted of 84 subjects, 42 males and 42 females of Urhobo ethnic and cultural background, between 17 and 30 years old, with full complement of maxillary teeth, drawn purposively from Abraka. The prevalence of palatal rugae shapes was: line (27.2%), sinuous (21.1%), angle (18.1%), polymorphhic (15.5%), point (7.5%), curve (6.2%), circle (4.2%). The total number of palatal rugae shape in the overall sample was 520, with females being slightly higher (51.5%) having mean of 6.38 (SD 1.45) than males (48.5%) having mean of 6 (SD 1.72). However, the difference between male and female was not statistically significant. The individualized pattern of palatal rugae makes it a reliable guiding tool in forensic identification.

KEY WORDS: Forensic anthropology; Palatal ruguscopy; Human identification; Morphology.

How to cite this article

EBOH, D. E. O. Palatal rugae patterns of Urhobos in Abraka, South-Southern Nigeria. Int. J. Morphol., 30(2):709-713, 2012.