Many skeptics of Bigfoot believe that there is no DNA evidence supporting its existence. On the contrary, decades of hair samples have been collected, and extracting DNA is beginning to become easier in the world of science. 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 humans 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 Bunnel, 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 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. Although hair samples may not completely point to a Bigfoot, many do rule out the possibility of them being from a human or ape. Samples show a common pattern of relating to human and ape, but are not identified as one or the other due to slight differences.
Aside from hair samples, scat (otherwise known as poop) has provided a “large” source of evidence. A very quiet analysis done by a medical lab in Oregon proved to contain some intriguing evidence. The assumed Bigfoot scat analyzed was said to have contained the eggs of a parasitic nematode worm whose size of their eggs depends on the species they feed on (the larger the animal, the larger the eggs). The largest eggs found in the suspected Bigfoot scat were far beyond the size of human parasites, but have been reported in many primates. Dr. Vaughn Bryant, an anthropologist at Texas A&M University, was on the case for two scat samples originating in the Pacific Northwest of America. After microscopic examination, he determined that the cells present in the scat were able to rule out the possibility of it being from human, moose, elk, deer, and bear. After all this evidence, why have scientists not concluded the existence of Bigfoot? Good question. Even though the samples can rule out human and ape, they do not point directly to a Bigfoot. In order to compare human and primate hair to that of a Bigfoot, we must have Bigfoot DNA sequences. How do you think we will we obtain them? Comment below and lookout for my next post!
Meldrum, Jeff. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. New York: Forge, 2006. Print.
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