Is the plural of Big Foot, "Big Foots", or "Big Feet"?
Geoff: Despite the jocular nature of the title there is a vaguely intellectual reason behind this post.
A group of Swiss and British scientists are going to conduct genetic testing on a collection of remains which have (at one time or another) been attributed to Big Foots or Yetis.
Michel Sartori, of the Lausanne Museum of Zoology has agreed for Professor Bryan Sykes, of Oxford University, to conduct indepth scientific tests on the entire collection of assorted remains (hair and bone fragments mainly), which the late biologist Bernard Heuvelmans collected and is held at the Lausanne.
The basis of the testing is to determine whether there is any evidence supporting any of eye witness accounts of encounters with large, hairy bipeds in both North America and Asia.
I don't hold out much hope. I suspect that many a bear hair will be discounted. While I can't say for certain that they won't discover some rather unusual results, I don't hold out much for even an inkling of evidence of a sasquatch.
Metaphorguy: They have found fossils of a mammal with characteristics of the modern day Big Foot as you describe. However, the mammal is thought to be extinct and there are people claiming it's still alive. It will be funny to prove these fanatical Big Foot hunters wrong.
"They have found fossils of a mammal with characteristics of the modern day Big Foot as you describe."
No, they haven't.
I stand corrected. I'd not heard of this. Humble apologies.
But there's one significant item in that Wiki article that bears attention:
Gigantopithecus's method of locomotion is uncertain, as no pelvic or leg bones have been found. The dominant view is that it walked on all fours like modern gorillas and chimpanzees; however, a minority opinion favor bipedal locomotion, most notably championed by the late Grover Krantz, but this assumption is based only on the very few jawbone remains found, all of which are U-shaped and widen towards the rear. This allows room for the windpipe to be within the jaw, allowing the skull to sit squarely upon a fully erect spine like modern humans, rather than roughly in front of it, like the other great apes.
The majority view is that the weight of such a large, heavy animal would put enormous strain on the creature's legs, ankles and feet if it walked bipedally; while if it walked on all four limbs, like gorillas, its weight would be better distributed over each limb.
So it seems extremely likely that though they were big like a Big Foot/Yeti, they didn't walk around the way that Big Foot/Yeti is supposed to.
Metaphorguy: Interesting. Some pictures display it as quadrupedal and others as bipedal. If it was 9 feet tall it probably walked similar to a bear.
Geoff: I don't think they'll be suing fossils. Fossils are specifically bones (and other hard biological structures like shells) that have turned to stone. You can't run DNA tests on stone.
The collection that was amassed by Heuvelmans is (from what I have read) comprised of recent finds (last 50 years or so). Apparently it is quite an extensive collection, of varying provenance.
They are also welcoming submissions from around the world for testing.
Metaphorguy: Anyone hear about that Neanderthal that had a tumor in his leg? I wonder what caused it. Was it skin cancer, tobacco, alcohol, stress, radiation, coffee, bad diet, or genetic disposition.
ghostgeek: Bigfoot sounds right. Same as sheep is both singular and plural. As for the Neanderthal that had the tumour, it was bad luck.
Geoff: So many people read the title but the not the opening post.
We haven't even got past page one.
ghostgeek: What would happen if the conclusion to all that testing was that Bigfoot does actually exist? If the world knew Bigfoot was out there in the woods somewhere do you think it would be left alone? I don't. Every tree and blade of grass would be combed until it was found. Then what? Studied to extinction most likely or penned up in a zoo.
Metaphorguy: What are some of the tallest bipedal animals?
Homo sapiens most likely. Most primates walk on all fours. Marsupials, armadillos, and ostriches are bipedal. Red Kangaroos can grow up to 6ft 7 inches (2 meters for metric users). So I guess Kangaroos can be the tallest bipeds.
Metaphorguy: Well dinosaurs are different. They are closer to reptiles than mammals. But here's an interesting story:
Apparently, paleontologists found evidence of many fossils from the Paleozoic era up to pretty recently on the geologic time scale in Venezuela. They'd like to find evidence of humans hunting some of the animals that are thousands of years old that have now become extinct.