Australopithecus sediba MAY BE AN ANCESTOR OF THE BIGFOOT SPECIES
Written by Emily Fleur & edited by Connor Anderson
Bigfoot is perhaps the most widely debated mystery. Many experienced researchers and scientists believe this creature to be an undiscovered great ape. However, new theories rooting Bigfoot’s origin in humanity need to be researched. In order to determine if Bigfoot is closer to the Homo branch of the evolutionary tree, we must dive into what it means to be human. Nine species of Homo have been identified in our fossil record. This includes H. habilis, H. heidelbergensis, H. naledi, H. neanderthalensis, H. rudolfensis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens, which is what we call modern humans today. Alongside Homo on the tree, we have Australopithecus and Paranthropus, non-human species with morphology resembling both ape and human. All species on our evolutionary tree are defined as hominins, the group consisting of modern humans, extinct human species and all our immediate ancestors (including members of the genera Homo, Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Ardipithecus.)
Pictured below: A.sediba skull layered over the Patterson Gimlin film creature
the CORRELATION between sasquatch & the cave punan DISCOVERY
The origins of Sasquatch have been widely debated by researchers from across the globe. How do we find out what Sasquatch is when evidence is so scarce? The answer lies in known species. When analyzing the physical attributes of this creature, we conclude that its origin points to either man or ape. However, with either conclusion, a question still begs: How have they remained undetected for so long? The answer lies in the intelligence of this species. The reported behavior of Sasquatch has seemed to pull its origins closer to human than ape. Let’s take a ride through the world’s greatest jungles, to discover the correlation in lifestyle between indigenous people and the North American Sasquatch.
If Sasquatch is an adapted indigenous people, how could they have remained hidden for so long? We must observe existing remote hunter-gatherers to analyze the skills and adaptations needed to survive in the wild. Steve Lancing is an anthropologist working in the islands of Indonesia since 1971. Indonesia consists of 17,000 islands and is known for having the greatest diversity of human genes and languages on the planet. In 2018, Lancing and a few colleagues were working on genetic studies, communicating with Indonesian scientists to uncover their unknown ancestors and produce medication for local diseases. Lancing was holding a medical clinic in a resettlement community in Borneo when the leader of a resettled Punan indigenous group approached him, advising him that a small group of Punan people were still living in remote caves as hunter-gatherers. (CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE)
AN ARTICLE BY THE FOREST FLEUR AMBASSADOR, LEVI MACHOVEC
Over the summer, I attended a Bigfoot expedition and was fortunate to meet some great people. I had a fun three-day trip to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in Southwest Wisconsin. The story that I will relay comes from the first of those three nights, which was on Thursday, June 11th. The official expedition was canceled, however, I learned that some of the members were still going out to the same area, albeit with a much smaller group than what would have been there on the official expedition. The area that we searched is an ecologically rich area in Southwest Wisconsin bordering the town of La Farge.
I met up with the group after I finished my shift at work. The group was composed of four individuals who have been members of the organization for many years. It was a unique opportunity for me to meet new people in the middle of a pandemic; most of my spring was spent working on my book so I did not have much time to get out of the house. That meant that I was more than eager than ever to get into the woods for research. Once I met the group, I could tell that the group was full of kind-hearted people, as they accepted me in without hesitation. They were very excited to be out in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. I lived only twenty minutes away from the location whereas the other members lived over three hours away. Needless to say, the group was anxious to get into the woods and look for Sasquatch.
The night started out with us walking up a trail just as darkness descended upon the woods. As we were walking, the forest was full of life; the frogs were croaking, the owls were hooting, and there were many raccoons walking around. About twenty minutes into the walk, we stopped for a while to listen to our surroundings to see if we could pick up on anything in the area. As we stood and waited, we did hear something, although it was very faint. My best guess was that it was an owl in the distance. The other members of the group did not think that an owl was the explanation for the sound that was made: they were convinced that it was a Sasquatch. Later, while in the same location, we heard something walking near us; I used my thermal imager to get a glimpse of it. Once again, they were convinced it was a Sasquatch. However, my thermal imager revealed the identity of the individual to be, not just one, but a family of raccoons walking around.
The night continued with us walking along the same trail for another hour before we headed back to our camp. The rest of the night was uneventful. This night served as an extremely important event for me as I learned something that will stick with me for the rest of my life as I conduct research. That night, I learned that if you want to have a Sasquatch encounter, you will have one. To expand on this point, when your mind is on Sasquatch, you have to be careful not to project Sasquatch into the forest when one is not there. (CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE)
bigfoot may have originated in north america as a completely different species
Although typically associated with the Middle East and Africa, camels actually originated in North America about 45 million years ago. They migrated to the middle east, and also down to South America, where they evolved into llamas and alpacas. Another animal that many do not know originated in North America is the Cheetah. An international team of scientists recently discovered that cheetahs descend from a relative of American pumas. Now how does this relate to Bigfoot? Due to the record of discovered fossils, scientists believe that all hominins and apes originated in Africa and Asia. We typically associate Bigfoot with either Gigantopithecus or Paranthropus. However, perhaps Sasquatch originated in North America as a completely different creature all together. The only reason we associate this species with ape or human is because of their seemingly similar physical attributes and anatomy. Take a look at 2 known animals that look alike. Deer are part of a family known as Cervidae, while Antelope belong to the Bovidae family. These animals look extremely similar, but are not closely related & originate from different parts of the globe. Could this be the case for Bigfoot, a creature seen all over the world, but primarily in North America? Is it possible that this species migrated, evolving into variations like the yeti? Just because it looks like an ape or human, doesn’t mean it is. We cannot underestimate the origin of this species and how different they may be from our own. Dr. Jeff Meldrum and Dr. Henner Fahrenbach examined several hair samples from unknown sources. Dr. Meldrum explains that in non-primate mammals, hair is grouped into 3 types including longer, coarser hairs, a finer undercoat, and whiskers. Out of all the hair types, the coarse hair layer is what yields the most evidence. In order to identify a species, scientists observe overlapping scales, which can be different in color and thickness, diameter of the hair, cross-sectional shape, and length of the hair shaft. Human hair grows differently and longer than other species, therefore showing its own characteristics such as a cut end and distinctive follicle structure. After Fahrenbach gathered nearly a dozen samples that were not linked to any known animal, the two scientists began studying their similarities. Their findings were interesting in that two of the samples had the same structural characteristics, making them the same species, however their hair color and hair length varied, as it does in Homo sapiens as well. Although the samples were ultimately inconclusive, they did point to the probability of an unknown hominin species, with origin that resembles both human and ape. The key word in this equation is, "resembles." Does this mean Bigfoot is a hominin or an undiscovered great ape? Perhaps it is entirely different than humans and apes, much like the antelope and deer. Many Native tribes talk of Bigfoot being the "first people," saying, "they've been here forever." If there is truth to these words, perhaps this species originated in North America much like the camel or cheetah. If it is an entirely different species than human or ape, it wouldn't be unlikely for its origins to stem from North America. After all, scientists do say that we have only scratched the surface of discovering all ape and human species that ever lived. Imagine the creatures that once walked this earth, some of which, we will never know, and some of which...we choose to ignore.
ARE WE plaguing their population to the point where they may JUST remain a mystery?
Sasquatch researchers are dedicated individuals, yearning to solve the world’s greatest mystery. Many techniques to lure these creatures are often debated and well-researched. However, some tactics like leaving offerings of food and household items may just be a detriment to this species’ survival. Let’s take a look through history to determine how safe it really is to be contacting these creatures and roaming through their environment.
Christopher Columbus, a seemingly brave and heroic explorer, encountered many native groups during his voyages to unknown land. Imagine his excitement when his ship arrived on an island inhabited by a community of people he had never seen before. Upon arriving in San Salvador, Columbus and his crew met the Taino tribe. Within minutes, the groups were exchanging greetings and forming a friendship. A year later, Columbus built his first town on the island of Hispaniola, where the Taino population was estimated at 60,000 individuals. By 1548, this number had dropped to less than 500. Why did this Native group disappear so quickly? Both the Natives and the Europeans could not wrap their head around it. They will soon find out that the answer lies in the diseases brought over by the Europeans. Pathogens like Smallpox, Influenza and other viruses were sweeping through indigenous communities, caused by direct contact with Europeans or trading within their own group. The Taino tribe was not the only to suffer, in fact, in April of 1520, Spanish forces arrived in Veracruz, Mexico, bringing along with them various diseases like Smallpox. Within 2 months, Spanish troops entered the Capitol of the Aztec population estimated at 50,000-300,000. By October of that same year, the virus had killed nearly half the population.
Nothing hits home like the story of disease in the Americas. In 1492, Columbus landed in the Americas, where Native populations were around 2-18 million, spread out across the land. By the end of the 19th century, 530,000 were left. Native American Indians may have been living in North America for 50,000 years. They migrated from Asia and spread out across the continent. (CLICK READ MORE)
Bigfoot is characterized as a large, bipedal creature covered in hair with long arms, toned muscles, and an appearance representing a combination of man and ape. The question of how such a species could exist alongside ours without having been discovered by our scientific community is baffling to many; individuals tend to boast that if this creature ever did exist, it must be extinct by now, otherwise we would have discovered it. However, we are not lending this creature’s intelligence, and possible origins enough credit. Today we take a walk back through time; we will dissect the evolution of apes and man to discover clues about how a man-like species might survive as long as us, without directly competing and remaining elusive. How did it get here, and how intelligent could it be? We will piece together the characteristics of Ardipithecus, Paranthropus, and Australopithecus to determine which branch of bipedal man and ape-like creatures Bigfoot may have descended from. Ardipithecus was the very first ape species to walk bipedally. They are the closest link we have to primates. This species was rather small and primitive, so Bigfoot stemming off of this branch is unlikely.
The next two groups of evolved human-like species were Australopithecus and Paranthropus. These groups both walked upright but differed in some characteristics. For example, Paranthropus aethiopicus had large megadont teeth and a very strong jaw. Perhaps the most important feature to note on this species was a developed sagittal crest (slightly pointed head at the top of the skull) which allowed for huge chewing muscles. Since the muscles that connected toward the back of the crest were so strong, these creatures were able to chew very well with their front teeth. Unfortunately, very few remains of this species have been found. Just like other creatures from the Paranthropus genus, Paranthropus boisei had adaptations for strong chewing. A prominent sagittal crest on the midline of the top of the skull connected large chewing muscles from the top and side of the braincase to the lower jaw. This anatomy moved the species’ jaw up and down very mechanically. This creature had huge cheek teeth four-times the size of a modern human’s and the thickest dental enamel of any known early human. Because of their sagittal crest and larger cranial capacity, this species had a fast-growing brain. Remember, food equals intelligence in the equation of evolution.
The Australopithecine group was known for land and tree-dwelling, with adaptations for both walking and climbing. These creatures had traits of both humans and apes. For example, Australopithecus anamensis has a shin bone showing a human-like placement of the ankle joint, which points to frequent bipedalism. However, their long arms and strong wrist bones indicate their climbing abilities which likely lasted close to 1 million years. These multi-functional limbs supporting walking and climbing were also found in Australopithecus africanus, whose round cranium housed a large brain, and Australopithecus afarensis, whose children matured quickly after birth. Australopithecus afarensis is one of the longest-lived and best-known early human species, surviving for more than 900,000 years (four times as long as our own species has been around.) Perhaps their land and tree adaptations allowed them to excel and sustain as a species for so long. After Australopithecus and alongside the Paranthropus group came Homo.
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Bigfoot DNA evidence is far and few between, and most specimens are inconclusive or only suggestive. However, a story of an ape-woman named Zana seems to support the existence of the creature Bigfoot. Zana was a mysterious woman discovered in 1850 in the Ochamchir region of Georgia, Russia by local hunters. Zana’s appearance was extremely unusual and uncharacteristic of modern human. Her body was massive at 6’6”, she was covered in hair, and was slightly different in anatomy than the humans of the time. After being captured from the dense forest, she was brought to an isolated mountain village called T'khina, fifty miles from Sukhumi Russia. She became extremely violent, and exercised non-human strength and speed. Zana would outrun horses and effortlessly climb trees. Zana’s incredible strength, unmatchable speed, and physical appearance is exactly what witnesses report in North American Bigfoot sightings. Zana was determined to be a relic hominin. During her time in the village, Zana conceived children from two men in the community. Her youngest son, Khwit’s tooth along with the saliva of several of Zana’s living descendants were submitted to Oxford professor Bryan Sykes for DNA examination. The skull of Zana’s son was also submitted, and appeared extremely peculiar, exhibiting characteristics of both modern and ancient human. Zana’s son and descendants were determined to have ancient Sub-Saharan African DNA, which is not present in modern humans. This points to the fact that Zana was not a Homo Sapien, but rather part of a relic population of human that had left Africa some 100,000 years prior to settle in the Russian Caucuses Mountains.
Dr.F. Martin Duncan, the man in charge of the hair collection at the London Zoo, analyzed samples sent to him by Ivan Sanderson, found at Bluff Creek, CA. Duncan concluded that such samples could not be linked to any known animal, but did demonstrate the same characteristics and features of a large primate. Almost 10 years later, in 1968, hairs collected in central Idaho were sent to an instructor of police science at the California State College in LA. Ray Pinker determined that the hair samples did not match any known animal, and in fact demonstrated characteristics from both human and nonhuman primates. The hairs showed many characteristics of apes like the changing of thickness and tint along their length however their scale pattern was eerily similar to humans. In 1993, another analysis of suspected Bigfoot hair (this time found in northern California) was done by Dr.Sterling Bunnell, M.D, of the California Academy of Sciences. He examined the hairs of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutan, and pygathrix to compare and contrast the specimen. He concluded that the assumed Bigfoot hair sample was closely related to the human-chimpanzee-gorilla group, but was also clearly different than each of these apes in its pigmentation. These other apes show medullary streaks while the possible Bigfoot sample showed no observable medullary structure. In most all studies, the DNA from the hairs was not able to be sequenced due to damage, however structural differences rule out any known species. Bunnell placed the sample side-by-side with human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan and Pygathrix monkey hairs, and revealed that although similar to all, the specimen was noticeably different than these known species. He compared the surface and general appearance to human and gorilla, and left his study there. However, Dr.Jeff Meldrum and Dr. Henner Fahrenbach further examined the reports from many labs including Dr.Bunnell’s, to determine if the unknown samples (CLICK READ MORE)
Deep in the Amazon rainforest, a small tribe of 35 individuals called “Tsapanawas” have been living in complete isolation from the outside world. During a hunt, the men of the tribe use arrows to kill their prey, however interestingly, they communicate with one another using whistles, and keep direction by snapping and placing branches along their route. If this tribe can communicate and hunt effectively using these methods, why couldn’t Bigfoot? Many Bigfoot eye-witnesses have reported hearing unusual whistles, tree knocks, and inaudible chatter throughout the night when their encounter takes place; some have even witnessed the creatures doing such things.
The Tsapanawas tribe was untouched and uninfluenced by our modern culture for so long, and yet they have survived and thrived for thousands of years in a small group of 35 individuals by hunting and gathering, using handmade tools, shelters, and medicines. They have survived attacks by other, more aggressive tribes by adopting a nomadic lifestyle, and until recently, have remained undetected by our modern society. They have a similar appearance to other tribes, but vary slightly in characteristics. The appearance of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, has also been described slightly differently by witnesses, but still remains consistent in the description of the creature’s main features. Perhaps this points to the possibility of there being several different tribes of indigenous species that have adapted differently, causing variation in appearance like hair color or size. Could these small family groups have adopted a nomadic lifestyle like the Tsapanawas to avoid competition with others? Perhaps this explains why several Bigfoot encounters often take place in one area for a short period of time before dying down and resurfacing during certain times of the year. Regardless of how they remain undetected across the U.S., Bigfoots do a decent job of laying low. Skeptics argue that there simply isn’t enough space here for such a species to thrive, or that such small family groups create an unhealthy gene pool. However, the Tsapanawas tribe only consists of 35 members who still successfully breed and live in isolation. When it comes to the argument of space, consider the environment of the Tsapanawas tribe: a rainforest. Now consider the environment that the North American Bigfoot thrives in: also a rainforest. In fact, regions of the U.S. with the highest rainfall also happen to have the largest number of reported Bigfoot encounters. It seems that indigenous tribes (CLICK READ MORE)
In the folklore of Nepal, the Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an ape-like being, taller than an average human, that is said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. However, how much truth is there to this ancient legend? Throughout the years, reports of hairy, bipedal creatures have haunted both explorers and native Sherpas. An 11th century Hindu poet and a European Ambassador traveling with Genghis Khan both referenced a hairy man in their journals. An older record from a Tibetan book of medicine describes a “Man-animal” who’s body represents a human, and origins represent a bear (perhaps referencing its hair-covered body.) The book reveals that the meat of this creature cures mental illness and its gallbladder heals jaundice. Interestingly enough, its appearance seems to represent the Chinese Gigantopithecus, an ape which lived about a million years ago and stood 10 feet tall. However, this creature went extinct after its population was speculated by scientists to have diminished by way of Homo Erectus, an ancestor of Homo Sapiens. It is believed that Homo Erectus hunted these apes, shrinking their population and causing extinction. Either way, if a large bipedal ape was roaming the tallest mountains in the world, it would have to be both highly intelligent and adaptive to a high-elevation climate. Not to mention, its ability to cover versatile land from snowy mountains to green valleys would need to be impeccable. If you think the Yeti is the gentle Gigantopithecus, the Sherpa people of Tibet will tell you otherwise.
ThengBoche RinBoche, Head of the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhism, speaks of a creature that visited the local village, climbed over a building, and paralyzed the man sleeping within the structure. Folklore such as this has instilled fear in the locals, and has inspired western films and media. Pang Diki, a local Sherpa, tells of a terrifying experience when she saw a yeti with her father. She described the head of the creature to be reddish-brown and conical, a description that interestingly matches that of a North American Bigfoot. However, Yeti reports often seem to be more aggressive than Bigfoot encounters. Lhakpa Dolma, another Sherpa of the village, describes a horrifying memory from her childhood. Dolma was herding cattle in the mountains when she heard a whistle. She quickly dismissed it, figuring it was her older brother, however moments later, a large creature grabbed her by the hair and clothing and threw her into a neighboring stream. She describes the creature killing 3 cows before walking off into the brush in a strange twisting motion. Perhaps the Yeti was defending its territory, or taking advantage of her youth to kill the cows and return for their meat after she ran off. Either way, these Yetis seem to demonstrate peculiar behavior for just a mountain ape, and similar behavior to the North American Bigfoot, believed to be a sub-species of human. If the Yeti is an ape, they must be extremely intelligent and also carnivorous, based on the many reports of mutilated livestock by the local farmers.
The exact roots of the Yeti are unknown, however there is significant evidence proving that something is, in fact, out there. In 1957, a Texas millionaire named Tom Slick conducted an investigation in the Himalayas, inspired by his interest in mysteries and missing human links. He gathered a small team of scientists and zoologists to search the nearby valleys and mountains, while he and a few others set out to speak with villagers. After interviewing a Buddhist monk, he discovered that the monastery was keeping an alleged mummified Yeti hand on display. After requesting to bring the sample to be tested at a lab, the monks declined due to religious reasons. However, this would not stop Slick. He devised a brilliant plan to get the caretaker drunk and steal two bones of the hand, that he would replace with human bones to mask the theft. He crossed over the border to India and later had the bones tested at the London University. The results were shocking-the DNA represented an unknown primate-like being. Unfortunately, this evidence did not make the press until years later, when another investigator sampled the same hand, and revealed that the DNA was human...These false results were due to Slick secretly replacing the Yeti bones with human bones after stealing the real Yeti specimen. Another DNA analysis obtained from an expedition in China and studied in the Nuclear Physics Laboratory at the University of Shangi examined the amount of copper and iron in a sample of hair. This type of testing is common in determining species of ape. The results were incredible, showing that (CLICK READ MORE FOR DNA RESULTS & VIDEO EVIDENCE)
Bigfoot is described as a hairy, bipedal ape-like man that roams the dense forests of the United States. They are often characterized by their sheer size, strong odor, large footprints, and striking resemblance to our own kind. How can we know that they exist? What clues has nature given us that many scientists choose to ignore? In this post, we will take a look at the evidence nature has provided us with, that signals a strong correlation between Bigfoot sightings and prime habitat conditions.
A rainforest can be described as a luxuriant, dense forest rich in biodiversity, found typically in tropical areas with consistently heavy rainfall. Most often, one may relate the term “rainforest” to South America, Asia and Africa. However the seemingly secret dense, tropic-like areas of the Pacific Northwestern United States are unknown to many. The Olympic Rainforest lies within Washington State, and soaks up an average annual rainfall of 170 inches, making it the wettest place in the U.S. Imagine a creature 3 times the size of a large Chimpanzee. What might they be thriving on in a Pacific Northwestern rainforest? The answer lies in the diet of known rainforest apes. Primates are omnivorous, however while most of their diet consists of fruits, leaves and other plants, most apes will also eat insects, spiders, bird’s eggs and occasionally rodents. Chimpanzees have actually been seen hunting full-grown colobus monkeys. The Olympic National Park is not so different from your average Asian or African rainforest. However, for a large hominin like Bigfoot, the prey must be larger for an animal of such size to thrive. Species that dwell in these forests include plenty of deer, moose, grizzly bears, river otters, pine martens, and an abundance of edible plants and insects. If Bigfoot is an intelligent hominin, perhaps its species creates tooling to assist in hunting large prey. However, if Bigfoot is classified as a Great Ape, (Click Read More)