Ear identification: A multi-ethnic study sample

Angelakopoulos N., Franco A., Sezgin N., Cevik Z., CANTÜRK N., Panciera M., ...More

Morphologie, vol.107, no.359, 2023 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 107 Issue: 359
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.morpho.2023.05.001
  • Journal Name: Morphologie
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Ear, Earmark, Forensic science, Identification, Multivariate beta distribution, Population data
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: Yes


The external human ear is considered to be highly variable among individuals. Hence, forensic applications could be explored for human identification. This research compares the usefulness of Cameriere's ear identification method, in samples originating from six different countries (Brazil, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa and Turkey) in order to examine possible differences in their accuracy values. A sample of 2,225 photographs of the external human ear (1,134 left and 1,091 right ears) from 1,411 individuals (633 females and 778 males) was collected. The samples included healthy subjects with no systemic disorders and without any craniofacial trauma, maxillofacial abnormalities, auricular anomalies, ear diseases or previous auricular surgery. Cameriere's ear identification method was applied and measurements were performed on the images of each ear, considering four anatomic regions: helix, antihelix, concha, and lobe. The quantified measurement values were converted into a proposed coded number system. A search for identical codes was accomplished to find out the distinctiveness of the morphology of the human ear. The combined codes of left and right ears of each of the 814 subjects were not repeated in this multi-ethnic study sample. Dirichlet's distribution and the inherent study equation showed that the probability of two different individuals having the same code (false-positive identification) was found to be < 0.0007. Because of the distinctive metrics of the ratios of external human ears, studies with Cameriere's ear identification method may be valuable for human identification. Studying the differences between the left and right ears of the same individual and across different ethnic groups could contribute to the development of supplementary tools for human identification.