Bigfoot’s origins have been widely debated for years. Did they descend from Gigantopithecus, are they closely related to gorillas, or do they sit next to humans on our family tree? Important to note, Sasquatch is a unique species with many admirable adaptations. We will never fully understand them until they are scientifically studied, however, I believe pinpointing their origins may be the key in discovering more evidence. If we can get an idea of what they are, we may be able to guess when & where they are. After studying multiple theories, I’ve come up with one of my own. Our fossil record consists of dozens of species of primates, including great apes & humans. However, our evolutionary tree expands far beyond the Homo lineage. Bigfoot is described to be very ape-like & very human-like. And what most people don’t know is that a group called Australopithecines share the same split in characteristics. This group of hominins lived between 4.2 & 2 million years ago. Could a species from this lineage still exist today? The answer may lie in Australopithecus sediba.
· Sediba existed 2 million years ago, alongside Homo erectus, the predecessor for modern humans.
· This species had long upper limbs & a developed bipedal locomotion. Their hips were wide like humans & their features were humanlike except for their feet which seem to mix ape & human characteristics, something that we also see in Sasquatch anatomy.
· This Australopithecine shares many characteristics with our own species, for example, the uneven shapes of the right and left side of the brain, as well as the structure of the brain.
· The placement of frontal lobes in the Homo sapien brain plays a big part in controlling decision-making, social behavior & creativity.
· In a study done by The European Synchrotron, the prefrontal cortex of A. sediba was analyzed against that of modern humans and apes. The study revealed advancements in the development of the prefrontal cortex that foreshadow the same proportional changes that evolved modern humans. Sediba’s orbitofrontal region expanded in ways that shaped its frontal lobes similarly to humans. In humans, the frontal lobes are associated with higher mental functions like multitasking, a capability that allows for long-term planning & innovation. In other words, Sediba shares the same anatomical characteristic that gave our own species the ability for complex thought. Scientists have also identified a feature on the brain that humans use to process language.
· Sediba had midfoot flexibility and would have produced a midtarsal break with each step. Sediba turned its foot inward with its weight focused on the outer edge of the foot. This anatomical feature seems to be evident in many Sasquatch prints, such as the Pacific Northwest Cast of 2004.
· While A. sediba’sankle was human-like in certain ways, it shares much of the same anatomy that is found in the inverted foot of a climbing ape. Sasquatch has been reported to climb trees on many occasions, which supports this theory further.
· Sediba’s distal femur possesses a human-like bicondylar angle, therefore positioning A. sediba’sknees directly over the feet during a bipedal step. A compliant gait is also observed in the PG film.
· One might make the argument that australopithecines used tools, a missing behavior in most Sasquatch reports. However, Sasquatch doesn’t need tool use to qualify as an Australopithecine. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that Sediba used tools the same way we did. Scientists believe it is likely that they used sticks, animal bones and rocks to perform complex tasks, something that hasbeen observed in Bigfoot reports.
· Now that we’ve established the compelling similarities between these species, let’s take a look at where sediba’s fossils were recovered, so we can gain a rough understanding of this species’ environment, which may parallel that of Sasquatch. Malapa Africa is the fossil dig site of Australopithecus sediba, which just happens to be Africa’s most complete hominin skeleton. After millions of years of erosion, a cave has been exposed, allowing researchers to dig for hominin fossils. The question is, how did they get there? Dr Job Kibii, a researcher at the Institute for Human Evolution and director of excavations at the Malapa site, says that there is evidence to support that the sediba individuals & other animals found had fallen down vertical cave shafts. Fortunately for researchers, this means that their remains were not scavenged & remained intact for so many years.
· At the time of their existence, Malapa Africa would have been a very fertile & forested region, similar to the environment Bigfoot occupies today. Scientists were surprised at Sediba’s diet, which consisted of fruits, leaves, bark & various plants, suggesting their habitat was far different than the African savanna diet of other hominins of that time. The correlation between Sediba & Bigfoot’s physical characteristics, intelligence capabilities & habitat refreshing. It is exciting to think that a version of Sediba could exist in North America today. My hypothesis is forming, & in order to determine if Bigfoot is related to Sediba, I need to get out in the field & study this unrecognized species. By using information about Sediba, I may be able to track down Sasquatch.
· Professor Lee Berger of the Institute for Human Evolution and the University of (Wits), School of Geosciences, found the Malapa site by zoning in on limestone-loving trees that grow at cave sites. This method may be crucial in locating Sasquatch remains.
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