So much for the abominable snowman Study finds that yeti DNA belongs

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Eight out of nine samples purported to be remains of yetis (artist’s sketch, above) were actually those of bears, a new genetic analysis reveals. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Icon Films Ltd. To find out for sure, Lindqvist and her colleagues took a more thorough look at the mtDNA of as many samples of supposed yeti remains as she could get her hands on. Some were obtained when she worked with a U.K. production crew on the 2016 documentary Yeti or Not?, which sought to sift fact from folklore. The filmmakers got hold of a tooth and some hair collected on the Tibetan Plateau in the late 1930s, as well as a sample of scat from Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner’s museum in the Tyrolean Alps. More recent samples included hair collected in Nepal by a nomadic herdsman and a leg bone found by a spiritual healer in a cave in Tibet. The team also analyzed samples recently collected from several subspecies of bears native to the area, including the Himalayan brown bear, the Tibetan brown bear, and the black bear. Altogether, the scientists analyzed 24 samples, including nine purported to be from yeti. Email Hikers in Tibet and the Himalayas need not fear the monstrous yeti—but they’d darn well better carry bear spray. DNA analyses of nine samples purported to be from the “abominable snowman” reveal that eight actually came from various species of bears native to the area.In the folklore of Nepal, the yeti looms large. The creature is often depicted as an immense, shaggy ape-human that roams the Himalayan hinterlands. Purported sightings over the years, as well as scattered “remains” secreted away in monasteries or held by shamans, have hinted to some that the yeti is not merely a mythical boogeyman.But science has not borne this out so far. Previous genetic analyses of a couple of hair samples collected in India and Bhutan suggested that one small stretch of their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)—the genetic material in a cell’s power-generating machinery that’s passed down only by females—resembled that of polar bears. That finding hinted that a previously unknown type of bear, possibly a hybrid between polar bears and brown bears, could be roaming the Himalayas, says Charlotte Lindqvist, an evolutionary biologist at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The Yeti, illustration from “Monsters and Mythic Beasts” 1975 (color litho), D’Achille, Gino (1935–2017)/Private Collection/Bridgeman Images By Sid PerkinsNov. 28, 2017 , 7:01 PM Of the nine purported yeti remains analyzed in a new study, eight of them (including the fragment of leg bone seen above) came from bears.  So much for the abominable snowman. Study finds that ‘yeti’ DNA belongs to bears Of the nine “yeti” samples, eight turned out to be from bears native to the area, the researchers report today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The other sample came from a dog. Similar studies of hair samples supposedly related to North America’s big hairy hominid, the sasquatch (aka Bigfoot), have revealed that those fibers came from bears, horses, dogs, and a variety of other creatures—even a human.Debunking aside, the new study also yielded lots of scientifically useful info, Lindqvist says. The analyses generated the first full mitochondrial genomes for the Himalayan brown bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus) and the Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus laniger), for example. That could help scientists figure out how genetically different these rare subspecies are from more common species, as well as the last time these groups shared maternal ancestors in the past.“It’s great that we now know these bears’ place in the maternal family tree,” says Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was not involved with the work.“These guys did a pretty good job,” adds Todd Disotell, a biological anthropologist at New York University in New York City. One finding—that the Himalayan brown bear and the Tibetan brown bear had such clearly distinct mtDNA—was surprising, he notes, because subspecies are often genetically similar: “I didn’t expect that.”He wonders whether future analyses of these bears’ nuclear DNA (which contains genetic contributions from both the mother and the father) will tell the same story. Male and female bears lead different lifestyles: Mama bears generally don’t wander much beyond their home territory, whereas male bears roam over much larger ranges. So, he suggests, the nuclear genomes of these subspecies might reveal that they’re hybridized more than the mtDNA suggests.At the very least, when researchers return to the Himalayas to collect new samples, they won’t have to be so concerned about stumbling into the clutches of the infamous yeti.last_img

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