The truth about the Abominable Snowman

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Analyzes of the DNA contained in samples that supposedly belonged to the well-known “Abominable Snowman”, belong to something much more common.

Scientists found that samples of bones, teeth, skin, hair and even faeces attributed to nine specimens of Abominable Snowman were, after all, a dog and a bear. The information was revealed this week.

The giant mythical creature of the Himalayas, similar to a monkey, after all may have been confused with one of these animals.

The study, to be published in the British scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society, focused on DNA taken from samples of nine (presumed) Ieti (common name that identifies the bipedal creature).

The samples were collected in the Himalayas and Tibet Plateau, and come from museums and private collections. Genetic analysis revealed that one of the ‘Itis’ actually corresponded to one dog, and the remaining eight to Asian black bears, Himalayan brown bears, and Tibetan brown bears.

“Clearly, a large part of the Ieti legend has to do with bears”, said study co-ordinator Charlotte Lindqvist of the University of Buffalo in the United States.

For this biologist and teacher, quoted in a university statement, “science can be a useful tool to explore the roots of myths about large and mysterious creatures”.

Charlotte Lindqvist’s group felt that this was in fact a more complete study than others, and that it might in fact help solve another scientific mystery, how Asian bears have evolved over the years.

The scientists sequenced mitochondrial DNA from 23 Asian bears, including the eight “false Ieti” presented in the study, and compared the genetic data to that of other bears.

Taking into account the analysis, the team concluded that Tibetan brown bears share a common ancestor close to bears in North America, Europe and Asia, while the Himalayan brown bears belong to a quite different evolutionary lineage.

This division occurred about 650,000 years ago during the glacial period, according to researchers.

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