It's Official -The Yeti Is A Bear....Probably.
However, if you have read a newspaper, listened to the radio or seen TV snippets you'll know -EVERYONE KNOWS- the conclusion drawn -bear.
Zoologically it is interesting but just because someone said "these are yeti hairs" does not mean they are allegedly from a hominid. On the other hand, if it proves yeti reports are of a 'new' species of bear that in itself is interesting.
It does NOT mean that Sasquatch is a bear. Evidence suggests otherwise but scientists ARE taking note and studying material they are given.
And in case you missed the item:
Yetis, also known as the "Abominable Snowman" or "Bigfoot", have been recorded for centuries in the Himalayas, with local people and mountaineers claiming to have come face-to-face with hairy, ape-like creatures.
Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at the Oxford University, set out to collect and test "yeti" hair samples to find out which species they came from. In particular he analysed hairs from two unknown animals, one found in the Western Himalayan region of Ladakh and the other from Bhutan, 800 miles to the east.
After subjecting the hairs to the most advanced DNA tests available and comparing the results to other animals' genomes stored on the GenBank database, Professor Sykes found that he had a 100% match with a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway, that dates back at least 40,000 years - and probably around 120,000 years - a time when the polar bear and closely related brown bear were separating as different species.
Professor Sykes believes that the most likely explanation is that the animals are hybrids - crosses between polar bears and brown bears. The species are closely related and are known to interbreed where their territories overlap.
The professor said: "This is an exciting and completely unexpected result that gave us all a surprise. There's more work to be done on interpreting the results. I don't think it means there are ancient polar bears wandering around the Himalayas.
"But we can speculate on what the possible explanation might be. It could mean there is a sub species of brown bear in the High Himalayas descended from the bear that was the ancestor of the polar bear. Or it could mean there has been more recent hybridisation between the brown bear and the descendent of the ancient polar bear."
A photograph of a "yeti' footprint, taken by British climber Eric Shipton at the base of Everest, sparked global mania after it was taken in 1951.
Legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who became the first man to climb Everest without oxygen, has studied yetis since he had a terrifying encounter with a mysterious creature in Tibet in 1986.
His own research backs up the Prof Sykes' theory. H e uncovered an image in a 300-year-old Tibetan manuscript of a "Chemo" - another local name for the yeti, with text alongside it which was translated to read: "The yeti is a variety of bear living in inhospitable mountainous areas."
Prof Sykes added: " Bigfootologists and other enthusiasts seem to think that they've been rejected by science. Science doesn't accept or reject anything, all it does is examine the evidence and that is what I'm doing."
His investigations features in a new three-part Channel 4 documentary series, Bigfoot Files, which starts on Sunday.
A book by Prof Sykes about his research, The Yeti Enigma: A DNA Detective Story, is to be published next spring.
Given that for many decades, even since the advent of DNA testing (very expensive), those looking for the Yeti have found hairs and other "artefacts" of yeti and just checked under a microscope and said "bear" or found fecal matter with hair -"bear" I find it funny.
There are going to be people out there screeching "That should have been MY discovery!" And whis is it NOT their discovery? Because they would not test further. Science "knows" everything out there and now that this pompous attitude has been dropped and DNA testing carried out....
I do not think many who are versed in the subject believed that yeti and Sasquatch/Bigfoot were related. The yeti never conformed to behaviour noted in Bigfoot. Also, there are the attacks by yeti -killing one or more yak and even injuring people.
But, I am sure some will point out, just because these are said the be yeti hair does not necessarily mean they are yeti hair. It won't stop the manic "Yeti is a mystery ape" crowd.
What does this all mean, though? Well, now every TV company, scientific institution are going to be getting money together for trail cams and better scientific evidence -even the first 'yeti' footage!
Luckily, the yeti is protected in its homeland and I think anyone thinking of going to hunt one would get very swift kicking out of the country.
My initial notes on Channel 4 TVs "yeti" programme titled "Bigfoot" (naturally):