The legend of Bigfoot holds a very special place in the minds of many. For centuries, inhabitants of North America have described several different giant apes or wild men that roam the wilderness. Studied by a branch of biology known as Crytozoology, Bigfoot has fascinated scientists for years. Many have spent years studying these mythical beasts, documenting sightings, potential tracks and speculating as to the monster’s true identity. Sightings of these beasts have occurred since before Europeans arrived, many Native American tribes have legends and stories of wild ape-like men that roam the wilderness. The term Sasquatch, commonly used to describe the creature is actually an Indian word meaning Big Brother or Elder.
Today, reports of Bigfoot sightings come from all across the nation; from Florida to New York, to Texas and California and in many parts of Canada. Bigfoot has been known by many different names based on the time and location of the sighting. Some of these names and areas include; Sasquatch (Pacific Northwest/North East), Skunk or Swamp Ape (Southern United States). Additionally, sightings of ape-like creatures called Almas or Yetis are also common in Asian countries like China, India, Mongolia, Nepal and Tibet but we will focus only on the North American Sasquatch. By what ever name is he called, the discovery of large and unknown primate in the North American wilderness would rewrite the evolutionary text books and forever change how we view ourselves and our place in the natural world.
The most famous images of a Bigfoot were shot in 1967 near Bluff Creek, California.
Morphology and Behavior:
Despite where and when sightings occur, Bigfoot and his cousins are all traditionally described in the same manor. They usually stand between seven and ten feet tall with broad shoulders and a powerful body. Most estimate their weight at 500 pounds or more. Their bodies are usually covered in thick hair or fur that is often a dark brown color, although shades of red, grey and black have also been reported. In some reports, the animals emit a powerful odor or other interesting characteristics such as vocalizations. Many have claimed to have found Bigfoot tracks which usually range between 12 and 24 inches in length and several inches across, much larger than human footprints. Although they are inconclusive, they remain the best physical evidence of Bigfoot’s existence.
Many Bigfoot reports have come at night or during nightfall, leading some to believe he is nocturnal. Despite this, there have still been many sightings during the day and some believe that different Bigfoot individuals may display different behaviors based on surroundings. Bigfoot researchers have noted that the animal is shy and will usually avoid people when in comes in contact with them which could explain how it could remain undetected even in North America. One interesting fact about Bigfoot is that he reportedly walks upright just like we do. This evolutionary anomaly is something that sets humans apart from our closest living relatives, chimpanzees. If a new primate species of primate that walked upright were discovered, it would likely have more DNA in common with us than chimps do (about 99 percent of chimp and human DNA is identical) and would most likely be our closest living relative. Such a discovery would force us to change how we looked at evolution and give us new insights into the development of our own species.
One of the main problems with Bigfoot theories is how such a species could survive and remain virtually undetected even in North America. Because of the sheer size of the animal, it would need not only a large amount of food, but also a large amount of land to scavenge for food. Experts have long debating over what the diet of Bigfoot might be; but it would probably include a large amount of nuts such as acorns and walnuts, wild berries, fruits, wild vegetables such as corn and onions and various other edible plants that is has evolved a tendency towards. Like other apes, Bigfoot probably does not hunt or does so rarely; instead it probably scavenges deer, small game, fish and insects when it comes across them. Some have also suggested that Bigfoot may hibernate for part or all of the winter, thus avoiding being seen and the need to find food in such desperate times. In any case, understanding the diet of Bigfoot would be a key aspect in identifying how they remained undetected for so many years.
Many believe if Bigfoot exists, he is a descendent of the now extinct Gigantopithecus.
If Bigfoot or any of the large ape-like creatures reported throughout North America turned out to indeed be real, anthropologists would then be faced with the task of fitting them into the evolutionary jigsaw puzzle. Proponents of the Bigfoot legend suggest that they could be a variant or isolated population of a now extinct species of giant ape, Gigantopithecus. These giants grew to be ten feet tall and weigh more than half a ton. Experts have asserted this is the most probable given Bigfoot’s typical description and because the forests of North America and central Asia where Gigantopithecus fossils have been discovered are very similar, supporting many of the same types of vegetation and animal life. This would have been an easy place for Bigfoot to adapt and flourish in after emigrating from Asia. Fossil evidence from several Asian countries suggests they went extinct about 300,000 years ago, however some have suggested that a population of them could have migrated to North America using the same land bridge Homo sapiens did and have continued to survive in isolation.
Others have suggested that Bigfoot could be a descendent of a far more primitive ancestor. About 2 million years ago, the now extinct species of the genus Australopithecus evolved into several new organisms. Some eventually evolved into modern day Homo sapiens while others like Paranthropus robustus are believed to have gone extinct? Just as with Gigantopithecus, if isolated populations of Paranthropus robustus survived, they could have evolved into the creature we now call Bigfoot. In any case, both fossil and morphologic evidence suggests that if Bigfoot exists, they probably diverged from our evolutionary lineage between 2 and 3 million years ago. During this time, who knows what strange and terrible creatures they could have evolved into?
I was going to ask this question! Thank you for the wonderful information.
Click here to cancel reply.
Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!
Don't have an account? Click Here to Signup
© Copyright GreenAnswers.com LLC