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Review article

The shape of the palate in the determination of paternity

Juraj Kallay ; Ccijel za dentalnu antropologiju Jugoslavenske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti

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page 197-209

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Anatomists have been showing an interest in the shape of the palate since the 19th century and the embryologic and morphologic development in enzygotic and dizygotic twins has been the subject of studies for the past 90 years. At the same time family relations have been investigated to determine paternity in forensic medicine. In the phylogenesis, prosimiae show primitive forms of straight rugae and a greater number (7—9) while simians have a reduced number of rugae. In people this evolution becomes manifest in the reduced number and the form of the ruage. If there are more than 5 rugae, it is the pharyngeal type and a lesser number represents the labial type which is the most frequent and varies in different races. Korkhaus established familiar forms in twins which were confirmed by other authors too. However, enzygotic twins do not show absolutely identical forms bu»- certain similarities are seen in the facial expression. This finding is also decisive in determining paternity, but it must be made absolutely clear that no certain proof of paternity can be based' on the shape of the palate. The first two rugae are by their form and position the most importand and also the number of rugae. The dominant factor is the greater number of rugae. The form of the hard palate has to be taken into consideration and the incisive papilla as well. Heredity becomes manifest according to Mendel's law. In the forensic medical anthropological practice »probability« is an important factor. The possibility of paternity must be excluded if the child shows the dominant pharyngeal type and the mother and possibly the father show the labial type. This is valid within the other analyses of genera in the combined likelihood in the negative sense. Still, if great other similarities exist in the positiv sense, paternity must be taken into consideration. Another important meaning of the rugae of the palate is used in criminology and in forensic medicine. The decision reached by the authors is that Rugostegrams serve better for the identification of individuals than Photostenograms. They are easier to make and comparison is less difficult. The author wanted to study the possibility of proving paternitv by means of the shape of the palate and on the basis of the literature and his own research work he drew the folowing conclusions: 1. Different authors are not unanimous about the value of the palatine finding; 2. Enzygotic twins do not necessarily have an identical palate; 3. There exist great difficulties in the evaluation of the similarity of rugae because their variability is great; 4. This great variability of the rugae is reflectedin their form and location and in their number which is difficult to determine precisely because of their ramifications and the shape of the palate may be therefore used for the identification of people. Rugograms may serve as a supplement to dactyloscopy because plastic surgery of the palate is much less frequent; 5. The difficulty lies on ly in the fact that Rugograms must be made in the laboratory of a stomatologist ano there must be sufficient space for the collection of models — Rugotheque.


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