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Yeti mystery may be solved


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#1 DocM

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 03:27

http://news.discover...bear-131017.htm

Yeti Might Be Descendant of Ancient Polar Bear

London — A British geneticist said Thursday he may have solved the mystery of the yeti, after matching DNA from two animals said to be the mythical beast to an ancient polar bear.

A group is claiming they've found Bigfoot! Sound familiar? Well this time they come with DNA evidence.

"We have found an exact genetic match between two samples from the Himalayas and the ancient polar bear," said Bryan Sykes, emeritus professor at Oxford University.

There have for centuries been legends about hairy, ape-like creatures, also known as "migoi" in the Himalayas, "bigfoot" in North America and "almasty" in the Caucasus mountains.

The myth was given credence when explorer Eric Shipton returned from his 1951 expedition to Everest with photographs of giant footprints in the snow.

Eyewitness accounts have since fuelled speculation that the creatures may be related to humans, but Sykes believes they are likely to be bear hybrids.

He made a global appeal last year for samples from suspected Yeti sightings and received about 70, of which 27 gave good DNA results. These were then compared with other animals' genomes stored on a database.

Two hair samples came up trumps -- one from a beast shot in the Kashmiri region of Ladakh 40 years ago and the other found in Bhutan a decade ago.

"In the Himalayas, I found the usual sorts of bears and other creatures amongst the collection," Sykes told BBC radio, ahead of the broadcast of a TV programme about his findings.

"But the particularly interesting ones are the ones whose genetic fingerprints are linked not to the brown bears or any other modern bears, (but) to an ancient polar bear."

The DNA from the Himalayan samples was a 100 percent match with a sample from a polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard in Norway, dating back between 40,000 and 120,000 years.

Brown bears and polar bears are closely related as species and are known to interbreed when their territories overlap, according to Sykes.

"This is an exciting and completely unexpected result that gave us all a surprise," he said in a statement, adding: "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... 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 hybridization between the brown bear and the descendent of the ancient polar bear."




#2 Torolol

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:45

so, Himalaya is in polar region ...



#3 OP DocM

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:08

More like a polar bear ancestor split off from brown bears and some stayed there instead of heading north.

#4 HawkMan

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 18:30

Technically, Svalbard is not part of Norway much less in Norway, it's a Norwegian protectorate or whatever it's called. And it's a long way from the Himalayas, having grown up there I should know ;)

I'm still going to go with the yeti being a creature of fantasy, until they capture a living one. Also why would the DNA sample be a 100 percent match.. Because it's the same sample. If it was a descendant it would be as different as any other brown bear or polar bear today.
This screams scam from a mile away.

#5 Colicab

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 18:54

So really its a bear.

That`s what I got from that,

Open ended enough that your Yeti hunters still have an excuse to go out each day.

Would of assumed someone sequence a Yeti`s DNA year`s ago, if not for science, but just for giggles?!

#6 Skin

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 19:04

I'm still going to go with the yeti being a creature of fantasy, until they capture a living one. Also why would the DNA sample be a 100 percent match.. Because it's the same sample. If it was a descendant it would be as different as any other brown bear or polar bear today.
This screams scam from a mile away.

 

I'm going to think that when they say 100, they don't mean it is really identical, but in the family and a direct line of the same lineage (bear family). Maybe some bad translations or something.



#7 Crisp

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 00:51

Watched the documentary on C4 tonight, was quite interesting.

 

I look forward to next weeks on the Sasquatch.