But we already knew that, didn’t we? Nevertheless, a new paper by Bryan Sykes et al. in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (reference and free download below) used sequencing of mitochondrial DNA to examine the origin of hairs purported to be from various cryptozoological critters like Bigfoot and the yeti. You should be able to recognize the species names in the fourth column, but the fifth will tell you.
Their table tells it all:
And the conclusion shows that every sample except for two (which were clearly bears, probably either a polar bear or a Himalayan bear, but couldn’t be definitively placed), are extant and well known REGULAR species:
With the exception of these two samples, none of the submitted and analysed hairs samples returned a sequence that could not be matched with an extant mammalian species, often a domesticate. While it is important to bear in mind that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and this survey cannot refute the existence of anomalous primates, neither has it found any evidence in support. Rather than persisting in the view that they have been ‘rejected by science’, advocates in the cryptozoology community have more work to do in order to produce convincing evidence for anomalous primates and now have the means to do so. The techniques described here put an end to decades of ambiguity about species identification of anomalous primate samples and seta rigorous standard against which to judge any future claims.
Bye, bye, Bigfoot!
h/t: John Jaenike
Reference: Sykes BC, Mullis RA, Hagenmuller C, Melton TW, Sartori M. 2014. Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates. Proc. R. Soc. B 281: 20140161.