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' Mythical Yeti Could Be Descended From Ancient Polar Bear '

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http://news.yahoo.com/mythical-yeti-could-descended-ancient-polar-bear-115124618.html

 

I find the article puzzling:

 

London (AFP) - 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.

"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 hybridisation between the brown bear and the descendent of the ancient polar bear."

 

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Cotter

I would like to hear from folks as to why this bear has not been photographed or remains found.

 

 

And a random fun fact:

Population density of Bhutan is 19.23 per km^2, Nepal 212 per km^2, Canada 3.4 per km^2, and US 32 per km^2.

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OnlyASize12

I would like to hear from folks as to why this bear has not been photographed or remains found.

Logically, the same arguments used for why not Yeti remains have been found would apply to not finding the remains of a bear mistaken for a yeti.

 

What makes more sense to me is that the two samples were in fact mis-identifications at best, hoaxes at worst when they were collected.  I can sorta buy a primate being shy enough to hide from man.  I've never heard that statement about bears as a species....especially carnivores like polar bears and semi-carniovores like browns.   Those two species of bear are not lacking self-confidence toward people most of the time.   If there was a polar-bear roaming the himmylas...it would be more obvious than not.

Tim

 

Tim

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Cotter

"Logically, the same arguments used for why not Yeti remains have been found would apply to not finding the remains of a bear mistaken for a yeti."

 

My point exactly.  And furthermore the 'no fear' approach that bears can have toward humans would lead me to believe there should have been dozens of specimens available for science and we would have had this bear mystery solved 40 years ago.

But 'we' didn't.

 

:-)

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Guest

My understanding is that they are saying instead of yeti evolving from primates they are evolved from some type of bear?

 

Makes me think of Native Americans who called bigfoot "bear people"....

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Guest Urkelbot

I think they are implying there is no yeti. People have been seeing bears and mistaking them for the yeti.

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ExTrumpet

How can hair theorized to be from a hybrid bear be a 100% match of a polar bear from 40,000 - 120,000 years ago?

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Guest zenmonkey

ya or.....its just a bear hair

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Guest Llawgoch

I would like to hear from folks as to why this bear has not been photographed or remains found.

 

 

And a random fun fact:

Population density of Bhutan is 19.23 per km^2, Nepal 212 per km^2, Canada 3.4 per km^2, and US 32 per km^2.

 

If it's all legitimate, maybe they have.  There's no reason to believe at the moment that it looks different enough from other bears in the area that anyone would notice that a photograph or a carcass was not one of those.  Unlike a yeti, which would be obvioulsy something remarkable.

Edited by Llawgoch

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southernyahoo

I think they are implying there is no yeti. People have been seeing bears and mistaking them for the yeti.

 

Or Yeti is their name for a bear. You can't rule out that there might be a communication barrier.

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Guest DWA

I would like to hear from folks as to why this bear has not been photographed or remains found.

 

 

And a random fun fact:

Population density of Bhutan is 19.23 per km^2, Nepal 212 per km^2, Canada 3.4 per km^2, and US 32 per km^2.

And that US figure is distorted by a number of the world's largest cities.

 

Most Americans have absolutely no idea how much of this land is seen by few, if any, pretty much ever.

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Oonjerah
Bears don't dismember people? I know our Black bears here in CA are mostly mild mannered.

 

I've read about Grizzly bears attacking & killing people. Polar bears for sure! They can

rip your arm off with a swing of the paw.  I don't guess they methodically dismember 

their prey or people. 

 

If a Yeti-bear is ripping heads off, that'd be the ancient polar bear influence. 

Bears do have a history of attacking women who are menstruating. 

 

Bear hunters, please advise.  

Edited by Oonjerah

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Guest

Black bears knock people down and start eating before the squirming stops.  The conventional wisdom used to be play dead when any bear attacked but that has changed. If you're attacked by a black bear you should fight back for all your worth as it's probably a very bad situation. Predatory black bear attacks are rare, but ugly.

 

My friend was a tree planter for three years and saw a black bear attack. The bear ran up behind one of his co-workers, knocked him over and tore into his rear end.  Nothing could stop the attack until the shotgun arrived. 

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Guest DWA

Black bears knock people down and start eating before the squirming stops.  The conventional wisdom used to be play dead when any bear attacked but that has changed. If you're attacked by a black bear you should fight back for all your worth as it's probably a very bad situation. Predatory black bear attacks are rare, but ugly.

 

My friend was a tree planter for three years and saw a black bear attack. The bear ran up behind one of his co-workers, knocked him over and tore into his rear end.  Nothing could stop the attack until the shotgun arrived. 

I definitely don't go with the 'conventional wisdom.'

 

Maybe 'attacked' means 'knocked down'.  Definitely don't cover up and hit the deck unless the bear is charging and it doesn't look like a bluff.  You can tell that by....um, good luck, man, uncertainty exists in all things.

 

But when a bear is first encountered the strategies are radically different, if the bear looks curious about you and advances:

 

BLACK BEAR:  AGGRESSION, including charging the bear yourself and pounding him with as many rocks, sticks and other missiles as you can find.  Personal experience says:  it works.  That was the only black I've encountered that looked like it wanted anything to do with me.  The others have split, soonest (when they didn't simply ignore me or amble off, which happened a couple times).  I have seen two blacks SNEAKING AWAY FROM ME, thinking I couldn't see them.  One was a ma with cubs.

 

GRIZZLY:  ....um, good luck, man, uncertainty exists in all things.  Griz are hard-wired for aggression; black bears are not. 

 

(I once had a black bear cub shoot up a pine a foot from my face.  The mom did....nothing.  A griz WOULD have attacked me.  I was once surrounded - no, I mean literally - by black bear ma's with cubs.  Every one of them would have jumped me, had they been griz.  Nothing happened.  I just waited for an avenue to open, and walked on.) 

 

For black bears, a tree is the response to a threat, for a griz, claws and teeth.

 

That said:  the ugliest thing I have heard of that the victim survived was a black bear attack.  She 'played dead,'...and he just started chowing down.  Even a griz will stop at what, for him, is just a chastising few nips.  Unless, you know, he's hungry.  You will, um,...good luck, man, uncertainty exists in all things. 

 

 

The only griz encounter I ever had in the backcountry was with a subadult in Denali.  I think his mom had just kicked him out that summer.  There were four of us, one of him.  (No parties of four or less were allowed in this area, as he had a history.)  He advanced on us from a quarter-mile or so away, up to about 30 yards or so.  Waving arms to show him what we were, we held ground.  He veered over the ridge.  We had a tense confab (a band of caribou passed right by us; I was the only one who noticed).  We decided to get out of the backcountry immediately (the prescription for a griz encounter that you survive, and can walk afterward).  Problem:  we get to the ridge; he's blocking our exit.  We have the E on him, so stand firm.  He walks down into the forest ...by the same route we used.  We put three drainages between us and him and were fine that night and after. 

 

With any bear, it's ...IS HE EATING YOU?  Yah, judgment call there.  But give a griz a couple of bites first.  Fighting a griz gets you killed if you don't have a gun or a big knife you can really use.  Take my, er, word.

 

And if it's a sasquatch...look forward to the report, man!

Edited by DWA

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