Scientist claims yetis roam the Himalayas
Published 17/10/2013 | 05:00
an Oxford geneticist claims to have solid evidence that the elusive creature – the yeti – does exist after all.
Professor Bryan Sykes has found a genetic match between two separate hair samples found high up in the mountains and a large bear that lived more than 40,000 years ago.
The findings suggest that there are several 'yetis' roaming the area.
Prof Sykes conducted DNA tests on hairs from two unidentified animals, one found in the western Himalayan region of Ladakh, in northern India, and the other in Bhutan, 1,200km east.
The results were compared to other animals' genomes stored on a database of all published DNA sequences. Prof Sykes found a 100pc match with a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway.
That specimen dated back at least 40,000 years, a time when the polar bear and the closely related brown bear were separating as different species. Prof Sykes believes that the yeti is a hybrid of the two bears.
The sample from Ladakh came from mummified remains of a creature shot by a hunter about 40 years ago. He considered the animal so unusual, and so alarming, that he kept some of its remains. The second sample was a single hair, found in a bamboo forest by an expedition of film-makers, about 10 years ago.
"This is a species that hasn't been recorded for 40,000 years. Now, we know one of these was walking around 10 years ago. And what's interesting is that we have found this type of animal at both ends of the Himalayas. If one were to go back, there would be others still there."
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