Sasquatch Coffee


What Is Bigfoot?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 17th, 2008

Of the routine and infrequent fossil candidates submitted for consideration as to the origins of Bigfoot/Sasquatch, which one is your favorite?

I begin with the premise that this unknown, yet-to-be-verified, hairy bipedal hominoid is an actual biological species. Getting beyond the argument of whether or not Bigfoot exists, what do you think might be the fossil candidate best matching the sightings and evidence of the classic Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot, Patty, and the specimens seen during encounters aligned with her, from the Pacific Northwest of the USA and Canada?

Patty

The reconstructions of William Munns give some new views of how these fossil hominoids appeared and how they may be seen in terms of Patty or Sasquatch, in general.

gianto2

Bill Munns works on the Gigantopithecus head.

gianto1

gianto3

Bill Munns’s now-famous bipedal version of Gigantopithecus.

The fossil recreation work of Bill Munns on Gigantopithecus is often-cited in works on Sasquatch, because the books of leaders in the field, such as Grover Krantz and Jeff Meldrum, both anthropology professors, have promoted Gigantopithecus as their candidate of choice.

The above and following images of Gigantopithecus show Munns’s excellent work on this great ape.

giantomunn2

giantomunn1

In 2007, at the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibition on Mythic Creatures, one of the highlights was the corner they set aside for unknown hairy hominoids. They used their in-house model (below) of Gigantopithecus ~ designer unknown ~ to demonstrate what they felt Yeti looked like. This new view of Giganto, less bipedal and more apelike, is coming into its own.

amnh1

The AMNH’s Gigantopithecus model was large and Yeti-like and gives us much to ponder.

Back to Bigfoot…

patty head

Patty’s head.

Of course, the major problem with Gigantopithecus as a candidate for Bigfoot is that the ape may be an anthropoid both too large and not bipedal. Gigantopithecus is, of course, only known from a handful of mandibles and a thousand teeth from India, China, and Indochina. Bill Munns has pointed out too that “Giganto seems to have a rather tall vertical face.”

Munns also has noted that while he feels that Giganto may have the correct size for Bigfoot, it has the drawbacks of needing to explain a second bipedal evolution event and the evolution back to a low cranium.

paranthropus skull

Besides Gigantopithecus, the other major fossil candidate for Bigfoot is Paranthropus, which, as the above skull demonstrates, has a prominent sagittal crest. I have never hidden the fact that my bias is in the direction of Paranthropus, because here we have a hominoid that was already bipedal, about the right size (remember Patty was only 6.5 feet tall), probably hairy, and had that beautiful sagittal crest in both males and females.

Few people have known that William Munns has also reconstructed some rather fine examples of Paranthropus specimens.

paramunn1

Paranthropus aethiopicus (above and below) is the name of the hyper-robust hominid fossil based on the “Black Skull” or “KNM WT – 17000.” For this Paranthropus to become Patty, this species would have to grow taller, have the brow ridges expand, and reduce the projection of the mouth. The bipedalism and sagittal crest are already there.

paramunn2

paramunn3

Another reconstruction by Bill Munns shows another Paranthropus. The following are images of Paranthropus boisei, first called Zinjanthropus or “Zinj” found at Olduvai Gorge by the Leakeys. This robust Australopithecine was bipelal, had a sagittal crest, and a short face not unlike Patty’s. Munns observes that two relatively easy evolutionary adjustments, larger size and bigger brow ridges, would have to occur to have this Paranthropus more directly match Patty.

zinj

Munns has written: “If we were to apply Ockham’s Razor to the question of Patty’s fossil heritage, the solution with the least complicated conditions would actually be Zinj.”

paramunn4

How did Paranthropus get from Africa through Asia to the Pacific Northwest without any fossil evidence being left behind?

I once again, point to Meganthropus palaeojavanicus.

In Southeast Asia, during the 1940s, paleoanthropologists Franz Weidenreich and Ralph von Koenigswald found evidence, generally ignored by anthropologists, that Gigantopithecus (the very strong and enormous anthropoid ape), Meganthropus palaeojavanicus (the great man of ancient Java, known by some today as Paranthropus), and two different species or subspecies of Homo erectus (namely the so-called Java apeman and the Peking man), all lived at the same time in that corner of the globe.

Meganthropus are assigned to Paranthropus by some mainstream anthropologists, although others assign Meganthropus to Homo erectus. In the 1940s, Meganthropus was popularly called the “Great Man of Ancient Java” and was said to reach heights of 8 feet and 3 inches (Giant by P. J. Lee, London: Yoseloff, 1970, page 30). Franz Weidenreich found the Asian Meganthropus mandibles massive, and frequently called it the “Java Giant,” (Apes, Giants, and Men, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946).

Meganthropus africanus was later assigned to Paranthropus robustus.

This is only my sense of the landscape, but to me:

Parathropus, traveling through Asia into the Americas, remains a valid fossil candidate for the great bipedal forest giant, Sasquatch/Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest of the Americas.

Gigantopithecus, found throughout South Asia, remains a valid fossil candidate for the great rock ape, Yeti of the Himalaya, in Nepal, Tibet, Mustang, Bhutan, and northern India.

My sincere appreciation to William Munns for sharing his fossil reconstructions and his thoughts on these fossil candidates and how they match up to Patty.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


55 Responses to “What Is Bigfoot?”

  1. MattBille responds:

    A quick reading of some anthro websites gives me the impression anthropologists have discarded the popular 1940s attribution of great size to Meganthropus (or Paranthropus, or H. erectus, whichever term is used to refer to the Javan fossils.) Others classify the relevant fossils as Australopithecus robustus.
    (The Smithsonian site says Paranthropus was discontinued as a genus, but that some anthropologists think the relevant specimens should be separated again from the australopithecines, in which case Paranthropus, by the rules of nomenclature, would come back into use.)
    The “black skull” creature is assigned to Australopithecus aethiopicus.
    Any way you slice it, the creature from Java is assigned a height of 5 feet or less (some say 4). That makes it less attractive as a candidate to grow to the size we need, although not ruling it out.
    I am NOT, by any means, an expert on this point, and this tale of classification and cladistics vanishes into a mare’s nest of extremely technical arguments.
    In other words, I may be misreading things considerably. However, it does not sound like the existence of a sasquatch-sized bipedal human ancestor in any location has been proven. (Even if, as Loren notes in the P-G case, we assume “sasquatch size” is less than the 8-feet-plus that some witnesses attribute to the critter.)

    A bit of speculation:
    With either candidate species, we are left with the puzzle of why they would migrate from temperate climes to colder ones and push east.
    We know that H. sapiens did the same thing, but it had technological means (wearing animal skins and using fire) to make the change a little less drastic. Giganto would have some advantage in adapting due to its sheer size. A human ancestor would have been more likely to grasp the use of fire and furs, but we have only a tiny fraction of sasquatch accounts indicating either, and most indicate no grasp of tools beyond what lower primates display (throwing rocks, striking with sticks, etc.)
    The strongest arguments for the human ancestor (call it “Paranthropus whatever”) are sasquatch’s habitual bipedalism and its elusiveness. To prove that “elusiveness” does not equate to “nonexistence,” though, we need what we’ve always needed: a type specimen.

  2. DWA responds:

    Not speaking as any expert here, but the following drew my attention.

    “Munns also has noted that while he feels that Giganto may have the correct size for Bigfoot, it has the drawbacks of needing to explain a second bipedal evolution event and the evolution back to a low cranium.”

    The explanation of a second bipedal evolution event is as simple – seems to me – as the explanation for the separate evolution events that produced wings in insects, birds and mammals, or the streamlined water-locomotion shapes of fish and cetaceans. They were advantageous enough to be selected for more than once.

    Not sure one needs to “evolve back” to a low cranium. Birds are way smarter than bugs. If you get my drift.

  3. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    I am going to have to go with “none of the above”. I don’t have much faith in the fossil record, believing it to rest on a widely accepted but actually rather flimsy theory. If bigfoot exists and is not part of the “Goblin Universe”, as it has been called, then I believe it is a seperate and different species unto itself; One that is more human looking than the known apes, but yet still an animal. The eyewitness evidence is really all we have to go on–that and the PG film–Speculating on ancestors, while fun for a lot of people on this forum, is at this point in bigfoot investigation a bit like speculating on the brand of Cinderella’s shoe since we can’t even decide yet if the creature is real. Just my two cents worth.

  4. Ole Bub responds:

    Agreed….none of the above fossil recreations, resemble what I’ve seen or what folks encounter frequently in Sasquahoma.

    Our squatches seem more humanistic in appearance and behavior…JMHO

    live and let live…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  5. coelacanth1938 responds:

    This might sound rather Lovecraftian, but what are the chances that Bigfoot is descended from humanity? A result of a population bottleneck after a severe natural disaster?

  6. gavinfundyk responds:

    I think it likely, without any claim to expertise, that Bigfoot is an adaption of Gigantopithecus to the Americas.

    If the sightings of the Large Yeti are Gigantopithecus, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are more easily able to go on all fours. Climbing steep inclines would be easier for them.

    Here, though the Pacific Northwest is mountainous, true bipedalism would be less of a challenge.

  7. CamperGuy responds:

    Loren states:

    “I begin with the premise that this unknown, yet-to-be-verified, hairy bipedal hominoid is an actual biological species. ”

    I agree with the premise. I am very curious what others consider bigfoot may be.Maybe a seperate blog?

    HOOSIERHUNTER responds:
    I am going to have to go with “none of the above”.

    Yup.

  8. airforce47 responds:

    I think Loren’s educated guess about the origins of Bigfoot are as good or better than anyone else who has gone on record with an opinion. It would interesting if Loren has the time to post in one place all of the existing theories of Bigfoot’s origins including the ones which are considered remote.

    The point is well taken that none of the theories completely account for the observations made by close encounter eyewitnesses. However, given better observations in the future this situation may very well resolve itself.

    Also, I’m convinced that should a high quality video or series of still pictures be obtained of a Bigfoot specimen many of the existing questions can be answered and even more will be asked. That’s the nature of scientific investigation and discovery.

    As for now no theory can be ruled out and the subject is open until better evidence is collected. This is part of the fun of the research hunt. My best

  9. sschaper responds:

    That whole field is so rife with rivalries, frauds, baseless speculations and the like that apart from articulated skeletons, I would be skeptical about the number of species claimed.

    We know now, for instance, that Australopithecines were arboreal, and did -not- leave the human footprints at Laetoli. With Lucy, there were no feet, now we have feet. They are like the other great apes, not humans. Most of these other candidates appear to be gorillas or chimps of various extinct varieties. Not bipedal. Not hominids. You don’t have unambiguous bipedalism until H. erectus. The small Italian ape (oreopithicus? Ororin? something like that) may be an exception.

    Gigantopithecus, like most of the candidates, consists most of imaginative reconstruction. It probably was very large, it probably was specific to eating bamboo. Whether it was a knuckle-walker or bipedal, we don’t know, but probably a knuckle-walker. Being limited to bamboo, it is difficult to see it crossing to the Americas. Even the later waves of humans, from Europe and from Siberia and Oceana, came by boat, not the old hypothesized land bridge. And Erectus had boats and fire, was omnivorous, but did not settle the Americas.

    We obviously need a capture, a kill, or a long-term observation of a troop to prove and classify.

  10. Sergio responds:

    Good article.

    Paranthropus boisei was no taller than four to four and one-half feet; its weight was probably around 150 pounds or so.

    That’s actually smaller than most adult chimpanzees.

    Meganthropus, based on some mandibles and skulls, may have been the size of a fully-grown male gorilla.

    Gigantopithecus was really large, but it was likely quadrupedal.

    I have to believe we’re dealing with something that is a unique and totally unlisted species of primate.

    I believe it’s probably hominoid rather than hominid, very highly developed, but not beyond tools of the known great apes.

    If I was backed in a corner, I would say that it is an unknown great ape, but quite unique.

    Perhaps natural selection has insured that only the most elusive and intelligent of its kind have survived; only those who are champions at playing hide-and-seek, which is what perhaps has insured survival. Then those genes have been passed down and down.

    That’s my guess.

  11. Loren Coleman responds:

    Talk about speculation: What is the proof that Gigantopithecus was only limited to bamboo? Putting bamboo parameters on Gigantopithecus distribution based on that one highly speculative assumption is quite a bit of rock-jumping, won’t you say? And we all thought that the shape of the skull and the walk of the ape was shaky from a few mandibles and a thousand teeth? Now there’s a range map being proposed, to boot, from guessing about the diet?

  12. DWA responds:

    sergio:

    “I have to believe we’re dealing with something that is a unique and totally unlisted species of primate.

    “I believe it’s probably hominoid rather than hominid, very highly developed, but not beyond tools of the known great apes.

    “If I was backed in a corner, I would say that it is an unknown great ape, but quite unique.”

    Based on what I’ve read (lots and lots, by far most of it backing the “ape” hypothesis, at least in terms of how most of us would classify what’s being described), I’d tend to agree with you. (I’d also say that each of the known apes is “quite unique,” and the sas isn’t, really, any more “unique” than any of them. Particularly if you include us, and all other hominoids, fossil and current, in your umbrella definition of “ape.”)

    “Perhaps natural selection has insured that only the most elusive and intelligent of its kind have survived; only those who are champions at playing hide-and-seek, which is what perhaps has insured survival. Then those genes have been passed down and down.”

    Well, yeah. But I wouldn’t overstress the “elusive and intelligent” part. I’d say that a number of other animals (the cougar; the coyote; the wolverine; the brown bear in Europe) seem about as elusive as the sasquatch. (Although maybe not as smart.) I think that one thing that really may be helping the sas’s “elusiveness” is that if you see one, you tend not to report it because you don’t think you’ll be believed.

    I honestly think it stands to reason that – if the animal is real, and has a distribution anything like what sighting reports indicate – a LOT more people are seeing them than most of us think.

  13. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I do wish we had a complete Giganto skull. A complete skeleton would be nicer of course… and while I’m at it, I would also like a new car ;-)

  14. Loren Coleman responds:

    Matt Bille writes:

    The Smithsonian site says Paranthropus was discontinued as a genus, but that some anthropologists think the relevant specimens should be separated again from the australopithecines, in which case Paranthropus, by the rules of nomenclature, would come back into use.

    A good read is Ronald J. Clark’s “The Genus Paranthropus: What’s in a Name?” in W. E. Meikle, F. C. Howell, and N. G. Jablonski (eds) Contemporary Issues in Human Evolution (San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences, 1996) Memoir 21, pages 93-104.

    Clarke talks about the use of the name Paranthropus and the generic separation it denotes as having “well-known and long-standing support.” Indeed, he writes that

    …the name Paranthropus has been alive and well and supported by zoologically sound credentials. It is certainly welcome news that more human anatomists and physical anthropologists are coming to the belated realization that Paranthropus merits generic distinction, but it is to the zoologist John Robinson that credit must be given for not only recognizing this from the outset, but also for his many clear explanations of why this was so.

    My reading of Ian Tattersall and Jeffrey Schwartz (Extinct Humans, 2000) reinforces the sense that the robust australopithecines still are discussed as being of the genus Paranthropus by many people in the field.

    But, hey, the phrase “bones of contention” does have some meaning, and there is clearly one school that is pro-Paranthropus and another group who are for using the name Australopithecus robustus. There are even folks who would like to call them Homo robustus. It is quite clear that the skull in the hand can be viewed variously in the eye of the beholder.

  15. Sergio responds:

    Good points, DWA (Duane Wiley Anthony? hey it’s a good guess).

    When I say unique, I am referring to bipedalism and its apparent ability to remain undetected, unlike the other great apes.

    Where they have already been found, tagged and listed, this guy is still out there, playing hide-and-seek at a level slightly above the level of jags, orangs, cougars and jaguarundis.

    He and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker seem to have the same hide-and-seek coaching staff. (that’s a little joke)

    Anyway, is it because of its nature? Or is it just because it’s so freaky that, like you said, people just don’t believe their eyes when they see it?

    At any rate, something (intelligence? rarity? elusiveness? combination of all?) is helping it to avoid being smashed in the grill of a logging truck or being caught by some unsuspecting hunter’s game camera.

    Loren – good comment about Gigantopithecus and bamboo.

    I understand that recent studies may indicate that it was perhaps more of an omnivore. Of course, that also lends to the Bigfoot connection.

  16. raiderpithicus responds:

    looking at the p/g film, hand prints, foot prints,hair, vocalizations, and now possibly dna, i think it eliminates any “it could be human” arguments altogether. this species of animal is huge, omnivourous, migratory and probably no more intelligent than an ape. the fossil record? we may never find a bone in the wild, but i am willing to bet my led zeppelin bootlegs that it is decended from gigantopithicus.i’ve been a student of cryptozoology for 35 years and i’ve certainly heard alot of opinions (and many firsthand accounts), but never anything to make me consider it even remotely human.

  17. DWA responds:

    Sergio: how ’bout Dwayne Wayne Anderson? (Twenty to life in Leavenworth.)

    As to elusiveness, I supppose the gorilla yielded itself up quickly enough once people decided to search. So you may have a point. But I’d like to see a sustained search effort before conceding it.

    So we’ll see. And of course there’s another putative factor: this critter has to range far and wide and fast to stay fed in the temperate zone, something not quite so necessary for tropical apes.

  18. Judy Green responds:

    It always seems that the question is, is Bigfoot a human or an ape. It makes sense to me that it is neither. IMHO, it appears to be a completely separate branch off the evolutionary tree somewhere after the apes and before the humans. It is a tad more intelligent than apes, but not as intelligent as humans. Thanks for the informative article, Loren, I enjoyed it.

  19. size 13 responds:

    With proper funding and planning to do an extended search and capture (a lot of us know where, too) then we will find out exactly what this animal is. It can be done, that I’m sure. All parties must agree to the same things. I think THAT is why we haven’t harvested one yet.

  20. springheeledjack responds:

    BF is not my strong point in the least, though I seem to keep getting involved in these BF discussions, since my water critters have been taking a holiday lately.

    The fossil record is far from complete, and I would be willing to put my money on something that has yet to be dug up, or it is a variation on an existing ancestor. Again I do not know my time frames on giganto, and the rest, but it seems plausible to have something that has evolved through time that we are not yet familiar with.

    Anybody chime in to learn me a thing or two :)

  21. archer1945 responds:

    The interesting thing I note about Bigfoot is everyone seems pretty much disposed to the idea that Bigfoot has to be some form of primate. What if the upright bipedal form is just the best for an intelligent, wide-ranging, land-based being to have?

    Bigfoot’s ancestral tree could have begun millions of years before ours did and from a different point. It is possible that line of development was very different from that of Homo. There is enough anecdotal evidence, both modern and ancient, that either BF is more in-tune with the world than we will ever be or has abilities we think of as magic.

    I know it is really an off-the-wall idea. However wasn’t it Shakespeare who said something to the effect, “truth is not only stranger than fiction, it is stranger than fiction ever can be”.

  22. Belfry responds:

    If Bigfoot exists, then I think it’s some kind of Australopithecine.

    coelacanth1938 responds:
    “This might sound rather Lovecraftian, but what are the chances that Bigfoot is descended from humanity? A result of a population bottleneck after a severe natural disaster?”

    H.P.’s horrors are great! And this possibility can’t be ruled out. (There’s a lot of evidence we ourselves may have gone through a hundred-count bottleneck after Mt. Toba blew 75,000 ya.) But I think it unlikely for H. erectus to take a Sasquatch turn, and right-out for H. neanderthalis or H. sapiens.

    But stranger things have happened. Our DNA consists of many ape genes, and their expression may only need a couple hundred generations of selection in that direction.

  23. sieni responds:

    Gigantopithecus is in my opinion too primitive to be the ancestor of Sasquatch.

    If you take reports of the Almas into consideration it seems we’re dealing with a more humanlike creature. I’m thinking Homo habilis or Homo erectus could be more related to Bigfoot than any great ape. Knocking on trees as a means of communication and throwing stones at people doesn’t sound like bestial behaviour to me.

    The Almas are described to be smaller than Sasquatch, but seem to be a related species. Eyewitnesses have described both species sleeping in a similar manner on their knees with their hands behind their head. Both Almas and Sasquatch have also been reported to have reddish fur and a cone shaped head.

    Most north american species tend to grow bigger than their eurasian relatives, this could be the case with Sasquatch too.

    Then there are the stories of the Almas and humans interbreeding, take the case of Zana for example. This has lead me to believe we are dealing with an ancient northern line of the human species.

    I hope DNA evidence will bring a conclusion one day.

  24. springheeledjack responds:

    archer1945, interesting idea, and though there may be no proof in the fossil record at present, as I said earlier, the fossil record is far from complete.

    Now I thought about BF and other things in relation to the Beast of Bray Road (Wisconsin I believe). There was a show on it, and I read a book on it just out of curiosity, because there the idea that it is some sort of werewolf, or more accurately a bipedal canine of size. My only problem with that, is that there really are no other animals that walk primarily on their hind legs other than primates, except for kangaroos and ostriches come to mind, and dinosaurs. :) And correct me if others can think of other things than primates that are bipedal. HOWEVER, nothing that fits the mammal motif other than a primate.

    Now your notion is out there, but interesting. I think most people tend to refuse to deal with such ideas because there are no real avenues to explore and look for evidence on such beings, other than folklore, mythology, and the like, and most people are grounded enough to need something more substantial to sink their teeth into than just an idea or hypothesis when there’s no way to even try to test it. That is until a fossil or something comes along to give it some sort of validity or substantiality.

    Interesting notion though, kind of smacks of American Indian spirit lore to me.

  25. Questor responds:

    Primate: prosimians (lemurs and lorises), monkeys, apes, and humans. In general terms, the traits of primates include mobile and opposable digits, nails instead of claws, binocular-trichromatic vision, and large brains relative to body size.

    It seems most likely that primate would be the proper Order.

  26. Doug responds:

    It does seem like each candidiate we have discussed has pros and cons as to whether it is the real McCoy or not. Due to the lack of evidence, we can only speculate.
    Off the top of my head I would go with gigantipithecus due to its size. The romantic in me would agree with Sergio, it is something unique unto itself. Perhaps we will never know for sure, unless one of them that is perhaps older and arthritic gets a little too careless or slow in front of a semi. I am not so worried about them being shot and brought in; they have done a nice job of avoiding hunters thus far.
    When one is finally found, and we do get a look at it, we wll probably all really be surprised at what it is exactly we will see.

  27. DavidFredSneakers responds:

    We’ll just have to wait for the odd giant molar found in Washington state I guess.

    The whole ape/human dichotomy is of course silly, sasquatch will be in the hominoid family no matter what genus, if it exists.

    I wonder, in terms of being in the genus Homo, what implications the primitive features recently associated with H. floresiensis might have in this argument? As far as I know the species is still associated with human-esque artifacts, however, so its more primitive features might not have included primitive behaviors, as we see with sasquatch (assuming such an animal exists).

    Gigantopithecus seems like a likely candidate to me, though I think it would have to be bipedal before it grew to such size if it were to remain a biped whilst massive. Its been recently speculated (namely by Aaron Filler) that early apes were bipedal, much like the extant gibbons. I wonder if this could apply to Giganto’s ancestral form as well?

    If this theory is true, it would open up a lot of new doors in mystery-biped speculation.

    Last June Jeff Meldrum mentioned he was writting a sister-book to “Giganto: The Real King Kong” or whatever that documentary was called. I hope he has more insight to share on this issue.

  28. mystery_man responds:

    Ok, keeping out the argument of whether Bigfoot even exists at all.

    Some have discounted all of the above because the reconstructions do not match what people have seen. I would point out that these are in fact just reconstructions, and represent what the species in question MIGHT have looked like based on the best information available and perhaps some guesswork. They do not necessarily constitute a completely accurate model down to the last details. We just don’t know for sure exactly what these creatures looked like, and there is a lot of debate about it. So what I think this means is that people could still be seeing representatives of one of the mentioned candidates, even if these reconstructions do not totally match up.

    I am personally all for looking at the known candidates first, before branching out into other totally undocumented species. There are a couple reasons for why I think so.

    First of all, although we may not always know exactly what they looked like, and can’t point to them surviving into modern times, we at least do know that the creatures mentioned here existed. I am not so sure we should dismiss the species that we have evidence for in favor of a completely new type of creature for which there is no evidence at all. You might think that they don’t match sighting reports, but considering we have no living holotype to which to compare, I don’t think we can really make that call. In the flesh, some of these known prehistoric candidates may have matched sightings reports perfectly.

    Second, concerning the fossil record. It IS incomplete, there are gaping holes and we don’t know everything about every creature that has ever existed. But saying that there is a new creature that remained hidden is one thing, and proposing an entire new evolutionary line for which we have no fossil evidence at all is entirely another. It is not impossible, but it complicates things and I think it is not necessary just yet. I think it is prudent to look at the species for which we DO have evidence first and work from there.

    In my opinion, there is no solid basis on which to discount all of the candidates mentioned out of hand. They might match (who can really say with certainty they don’t?), and there’s evidence they existed. To me there doesn’t seem to be a reason to start introducing into the mix new types of hominid for which there is absolutely no evidence at all. Why jump to that conclusion at this time based on the information we have? Are the ones mentioned that unacceptable? I don’t believe they are. To me, it is perfectly reasonable to speculate on these creatures that really existed rather than venturing into pure conjecture.

    I think Occam’s Razor is a good guide here. Start with the known candidates and work out from there. If there is evidence provided for new types of apes or hominids that we didn’t know about before, then we can amend the list of candidates for Bigfoot. I’m not so sure there’s any reason to start doing that.

    For sure, keep the possibility open, but perhaps don’t drop known for the unknown just yet.

  29. Regie responds:

    I believe it is along the line of Australopithecus robustus evolved to
    A.ustral. garhi in the middle east, once side went to Europe and the other went to Asia, australia, then North America. Sasquatch has many similarities to humans, many not so similar..but this is based on environmental pressures. Two surviving hominids came out of africa and survived the large and dangerous carnivours of the Pliocene and Pliestocene and 4 ice ages. After the last ice age all the large, specialized animals died out. Mostly smaller, unspecialized, mobile animials survived.
    If Giganto was slow and eat mostly specialized food such as bamboo, then it became extinct or killed by humans for food. Though Giganto may also be
    an extension or evolved Austral. garhi that grew to very large size.
    Homo sapiens developed a super brain, whereas Australo/paranthropus/Meganthropus developed a super body.
    If the US army wanted to develop a super warrior human, it could do no better than Sasquatch form.

  30. YowieLover responds:

    Anyone without experience can make a judgment based on scientific facts. But with experience, I CAN honestly say that there is a HUGE bipedal, smart, territorial, being

  31. sieni responds:

    Seems like I forgot Homo floresiensis. I’m glad some one brought that up. What we have is Homo erectus fossils everywhere in Eurasia. Then there are the fossils of a dwarf type that shows close resemblance to H. erectus. Both of these species coexisted with modern humans.

    Then there are the stories of humanlike creatures still roaming the forests once inhabited by H. erectus. To my knowledge there are no other promising fossils found in this area. I could bet my reputation (not much) that Giganto is not the one we’re after.

    If you’ll just look at the locomation in the Patterson-Gimlin film it is clear to me this is no ape, certainly not related to orangutang. I think we’re dealing with a creature that is from the same evolutionary branch as we are. Apes just don’t walk like that and it’s a little farfetched to think that a great ape could develope a similar gait to humans independently. I think both of our species learned to walk while still in Africa, and then spread out, the ancestors of Bigfoot long before us. 2-3 millon years ago maybe first colonizing Asia, and then spreading southwards towards Flores becoming smaller, and northwards to North America where everything is bigger.

    I agree that there is not much evidence about Sasquatch or the Almas using tools like Homo erectus, and they’re also described as being much hairier and more animal like in beaviour than H. erectus. But based on fossil record this is the closest thing to what I think of as Bigfoot. 12,000 year old bones of apemen found in South East Asia. It’s like yesterday in paleontolgical terms.

  32. sschaper responds:

    I guess I’m out of date on the evidence from the tooth wear patterns that gigantopithicus was a specialized bamboo eater like the giant panda.

    If they can prove this primate skull is of a local creature on MonsterQuest, then we may have our answer.

    If the critter exists, then my guess is that it is something previously uncatalogued, rather than any of the suggested candidates.

  33. coelacanth1938 responds:

    Belfry responds:

    “But I think it unlikely for H. erectus to take a Sasquatch turn, and right-out for H. neanderthalis or H. sapiens.”

    I was thinking about that comet that hit the North American contunent 13,000 years ago. Could Bigfoot be all that’s left of Clovis point Indians?

  34. sschaper responds:

    The Clovis people were from Europe. Possibly more like the Orkneyar and the Saami than the blond, blue-eyed Goths and Celts, but the points show that that is where they came from.

    The comet hypothesis is interesting, but it is a long way from proven – last I heard, anyway. Last I knew the chief purpose was to preserve the image of Rouseaux’s ‘Noble Savage’ myth by providing another explanation for the megafauna (and not so mega like the North American camelids, horses, large beaver, terror birds, etc) extinctions.

  35. Aphyllos responds:

    Would classing the Sasquatch as a member of the Clovis define it as Homo sapiens? They were a race rather than a species surely?

    I’m very interested by the Homo floresiensis possibilities, since it’s discovery i’ve thought it could explain so many of the “little people” tales from the worlds folklore (I’m specifically interested in the European Woodwose tales). I;d never thought more than superficially about some link between Homo floresiensis and Sas.
    Are there any examples in natural history of size difference of the same species that would parrallel the obvious huge discrepancy between H.f and Sas?

    Cheers Loren, this has really got me thinking…

  36. coelacanth1938 responds:

    Maybe we need to look at those reports of average joes finding giant human skeletons again?

  37. sschaper responds:

    I’m not yet personally convinced of the species status of Floresian hobbits.

    As for that kind of size difference, yes there are other examples: felids, equids, deer/antelope/sheep/cows, hippos, bears: it seems to be something fairly common.

  38. Aphyllos responds:

    Thanks Sschaper. So within single species of those animals there is variation of hundreds of pounds of weight and several feet in height etc? I was aware of island dwarfism but never to an extent that could act as precedent for such a dramatic difference.

  39. Daryl Colyer responds:

    I like how Loren provided the artist’s sketches in this article.

    Here’s an informative and relevant website. This website I have provided also has some interesting artist’s sketches. Click on the various hominid links for those sketches.

  40. Bill Munns responds:

    Something to keep in mind:

    Aside from the fact that my reconstructions are quite speculative in the soft tissue aspects (as any reconstruction is), they represent figures that existed over a million years ago, and if any is in fact related to something alive today, that million years (plus) time gap would be expected to cause them to have evolved into a different form today. So the real comparison was more to say, how much evolution might be needed to get from one of them to what people see and report today? Then see which evolutionary path seems the least complicated (invoking Ockams’s Razor).

    Bill

  41. sieni responds:

    Maybe the comet hit triggered some volcanic eruptions on the american continent and elsewhere. It’s certainly true there were several big eruptions around that time.

    “Glacier Peak in Snohomish County has erupted at least six times in the past 4,000 years. An especially powerful series of eruptions about 13,000 years ago deposited volcanic ash at least as far away as Wyoming.”

    Interestingly this is parallel to the disappearance of the flores man and northern megafauna.

    What about the find in Dmansi Georgia? That puts erectus on the eurasian continent two million years ago, and the oldest Flores remains are roughly from the same time period and share some features with the Dmansi bones. That’s an awful lot of time for archaic homo erectus to cross the bering strait into the americas, and take an evolutionary turn.

  42. jerrywayne responds:

    If I had only two choices for Patterson’s subject, let’s say Paranthropus boisei or Homo heironimus, I know how I would vote, without hesitation. However, the question put forth above ignores the mundane in favor of the more exciting, so I’ll go with it for the sake of argument and for the sake of fun.

    I think we can dismiss Gigantopithecus out of hand. Allegedly, it is (genetically) closer to an orangutan than an African ape; and an African ape is closer to a human than is an orangutan. I’ll take it for granted that bigfoot is closer still to humans than are gorillas and chimps.

    I do wonder: why Gigantopithecus has been favored by such studied fellows as Meldrum and the late Krantz? Why do they think this is the most likely candidate? It is in the ballpark, size wise, yet it is so apelike as to assuredly be a knuckle walker. Could it have evolved bipedalism almost identical to that found in humans? I would think that would be very unlikely. (I do agree with our kind host that Gigantopithecus is a better fit for a theory about the yeti).

    So, is Paranthropus a more likely candidate? Following Munns’ comments, we could envision an evolved Paranthropus today looking more human like and less ape looking, in accordance with many eyewitness reports of bigfoot. The sagittal crest, it is pointed out, is already there in the Paranthropus (presumably, a match for Patterson’s subject). One problem: as reconstructed by Munn, the sagittal crest of Paranthropus is barely, if at all, apparent. It certainly is not as pronounced as found in a gorilla or seen in Patterson’s subject. So, I’m asking: would a larger, taller, modern Paranthropus display a more prominent sagittal crest, or would a modern, more human like Paranthropus have evolved a less prominent sagittal crest?

  43. Bill Munns responds:

    Jerrywayne:

    The sagital crest is essentially a result of diet, the more chewing and the harder the food being chewed, the more powerful the jaw muscles need to be, and the anchor point, which becomes the sagital crest, is expanded.

    So to imagine paranthropus evolving a larger sagital crest, you simply need to put a condition of an evolved diet requiring stronger and most continuous chewing. Examples, more nuts and fiberous vegetation needing chewing before swallowing.

    Bill

  44. mystery_man responds:

    I think the speculation on how some of these might have evolved and changed is interesting, but there is something I think should be kept in mind.

    There is a tendency to think that evolution always works towards more and more advanced forms or that these hominids would have naturally become more and more like us, but this is not necessarily the case. Evolution does not always lead to more complexity or change, there is no final goal or imperative for a creature to become like us. If this were the case, we would not have any one celled organisms left. Rather, evolution causes the organism to best adapt to its survival within its environment and its role within the ecosystem. Within the time span we are talking about here, some animals have changed drastically while others have barely changed at all.

    So what I think this means is that it is not a foregone conclusion that any of these hominids would have changed a whole lot. Of course they might have, and it is a good avenue of speculation, as Mr. Munns said. However, if they were well suited to their lifestyle and environment, there is a chance that if they were alive today, they may have changed very little. Just a thought.

  45. springheeledjack responds:

    Now this is my kind of posting, constructive discussions about possibilities and looking for answers. And informative for one such as myself who does not have a lot of BF background.

    Thanks!

  46. Bill Munns responds:

    Mystery Man:

    I agree and think you brought up a valuable point often lost when people think about evolution. Evolution should be thought of as a response to a change in a species environment, and if the environment (in total) is stable, the species tends to remain “in stasis” (largely unchanged). It is in response to a change in the environment (a land bridge forming that allows a new predator to enter the area, for example) which changes the evolutionary needs for the species to survive and the successful species then evolves to survive the predator threat (one example),

    Or the species moves into a new environment, finds different food sources, and adapts to that environment, its food and the food gathering methods needed.

    But the idea there is a “goal” of evolution to “advance” is a fallacy. So yes, any of those hominid ancestors, if they survived today, could be the same as they were then, if their environment niche was similarly stable and largely unchanged.

    Bill

  47. sschaper responds:

    Aphyllos,

    Sometimes the same species, but usually in the classes I listed, they are able to produce offspring, anyway.

    Ligers and tions, zorses and zonkeys, and on ya go.

  48. mystery_man responds:

    Bill Munns- Yes, precisely. Thank you for expanding on that for me.

    The examples you gave are very good. I thought this was a good point to bring up. There are many, many examples of why a creature may need adapt to change in its environment. Predators, climate change, competition from other species, often an interlocking of many factors. It is a complex thing. But I thought it would be important to bring up the evolution myth that all life always moves towards more advanced forms, or that it even sometimes “devolves” into a “lesser form”. This is false. An organism evolves precisely as it must to best survive in its habitat and niche; no more, no less. Selective pressures and changes arise and natural selection progresses. But by no means is it imperative that an animal continue changing if it is well adapted and its environment stable. This is something that I often find is misunderstood or misrepresented in discussions concerning evolution, so I do think it is important we brought it up.

    Thanks for helping me to further explain my point.

  49. archer1945 responds:

    coelacanth1938′s comment about the possibility of Sasquatch being the remnants of the Clovis people got me to thinking, always a bad idea. What if we go back even further than Clovis? There is pretty good evidence now that both North and South America were inhabited long before Clovis, in fact Clovis is a newcomer compared to some of the discoveries recently announced. Most of these sites predate the Bering land bridge, which is also being questioned as the main route to the so-called “New World”.

    Btw, springheeled jack, there is a reason my ideas might sound like something from American Indian spirit lore. I still have enough Indian blood in me to qualify as an American Indian and I think I inherited a great deal of my ancestors beliefs. Personally I think most indigenous peoples are much more in-tune with what goes on in Nature than city-folk are.

    Someone mentioned something about Patty’s walk in the P-G film. First of all I have to agree Patty’s walk is not that of a primate at all but of a creature that has been naturally bi-pedal for untold generations, like homo. Also, anyone who has done much walking learns they have several different strides; a short one for normal around town type walking, a bit longer one for when you want to get somewhere a bit quicker and another, for those lucky enough to be able to spend a lot of time in the open where they can really WALK, a stride that allows one to really eat up distance when necessary. It is this last stride which Patty is exhibiting, a ground-covering stride that allows one to cover much ground without the exertion required by running. That is something I’d love to see, a Sasquatch out for a long distance run; probably the only thing that comes close is watching Watusi warriors running in Africa, almost equal heights but without the body mass of a Sasquatch.

  50. MattBille responds:

    The recent articles / websites I am finding indicate that Meganthropus, while robust, was not close to a modern human in stature and has been folded into the 4-5 foot Paranthropus. Is there a recent argument the other way?

  51. jerrywayne responds:

    Bill Munns-Thanks for the comments.

    Bigfoot, as an evolved, larger Parathropus boisei, might have developed a larger sagittal crest since it would necessarily need more fuel to live. And this begs the question: what can we expect as to bigfoot diet, given Parathropus as a prototype or indeed as an ancestor.

  52. Bill Munns responds:

    Jerrywayne:

    It isn’t so much the amount of “fuel” (food or nutrient) a body needs, so much as what kind it is and how much chewing it needs before swallowing. So eating an egg needs no real chewing, whereas eating walnuts does.

    So essentially you just need to look for a reason to say paranthropus became a specialized herbivore instead of the general hominid presumption they were non-specialized omnivores.

    So you might imagine that a paranthopus group traveled to a niche environment where nuts and very edible (but needing chewing) vegetation was plentiful and soft fruits, bird eggs, and small reptiles, lizards, etc. were more scarce. Then, if they settle into that niche, they may evolve a more developed sagital crest to accommodate the extra chewing each day.

    Bill

  53. jerrywayne responds:

    For the sake of argument, let’s say we can settle on an evolved Paranthopus as the identity of bigfoot (of course, monster large and possessing a prominent sagittal crest, in keeping with Patterson’s subject). What then, can we deduce from taking this approach as a given? If bigfoot/paranthopus sustains itself on nuts and edible, tough vegetation (as we would expect from Patterson’s subject obvious crest), what kind of behavior would we then expect? A grazing type of animal, perhaps, one that does not need to travel wide? Based on what we see in other primates, would bigfoot be a social animal, living like gorillas or chimpanzees, within a group with an obvious social hierarchy? How does this bigfoot/paranthopus scenario play out against eyewitness testimony?

  54. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    none the less it will be caught

    amen?. :D

    i forgot what site, but i seen some pictures of what could be a Bigfoot, Yowi, yeti, A. Snowman, cryptid that’s not big foot, unknown species that’s no known in cryptozoology or living fossil.. but i looked legit….. well to me

    i think it’s an ape. but very well can be a monkey..

    apes are built except for chimpanzee their skinny.. and when i mean built i mean like gorillas and orangutans..

    but i could be wrong it could be a monkey.

    if it’s indeed a subspecies then wow what primate made that? :D

    and if it’s the original primate that started all the primates. wow lol..

    but if Gorillas, Orangutans, Chimpanzee’s..etc. are related then i wonder where did the Gorillas, Orangutans, Chimpanzee’s originated from. :) Cause i have a feeling Yowl, Bigfoot, yeti maybe resembles or have Characteristics of Apes instead of monkeys.

    as far as i know.. from what i read.. no one mentioned an ape like characteristics

    I believe in our present time were able to do more then what we expect.. i think were able to catch lots of cryptids, living fossils..etc.

    but with patients unless they appear on the spot right away.
    :) ;d amen amen.:)

    if we don’t have patients and if we jump to conclusion we will be busting a “Destination Truth” (although i love that show) meaning that (if i remember correctly) when they were looking for the Mokele-Mbembe.. they didn’t see it, when their trip was over they said “it isn’t real”… that’s so lame… they can’t assume that just cause they didn’t see it… chances are you won’t see it when you want to, and chances are you will… and chances are you will see it when you don’t look for it. and chances are you will not.

    i say if someone is going to do an expedition at least it should be for a week or 2 or more.. but if their able to stay for days it’s cool.. as long as they realize they may not see it…. if i go around my city hoping to see lizards (yes we have lizards “wild ones”) chances are i will not see one. And I won’t see one just cause i want to…and second their able to not be seen by us.. even if their small and have a big advantage of hiding lol… you get my point. :)

    Too many of us jump to conclusions and not realizing the truth is right in front of our eyes.

    i know for a fact that if see any spiders, insects and bugs we never seen before we ignore them or kill them.. without even realizing they may be a cryptid or living fossil or unknown species… who knows….

    same goes with larger creatures not everybody seen and knows all recorded animals and they may assume the animal they saw is recorded or they will ignore it and walk away… without even realizing it was a living fossil or cryptid or unknown species of animals..etc.

    i for sure seen a strange insect or bug or spider.. what ever it was.. in my bathroom although i had no batteries for my camera then.. so i couldn’t have tooken a picture. the only picture i have of it is in my head.

  55. IG88 responds:

    I, for one, know that BigFoot doesn’t look like a human.
    To a degree? Possibly. But that’s only because the positions of the eye’s, nose and mouth, along with ears, are on the same places as humans are.
    We’re talking jet-black skin on the face, and the nose looks almost human, but now quite certain.
    The small size of forehead, the big brow ridge looks ape.
    The size of animals can get up to around 9.5 to 10 foot.
    Which of the candidates get that big?
    The hands look chimpanzee-like, with a really long palm that shows the simian lines traveling straight across the palm, The thumb sets really far down at the bottom of the palm.

    The cheek bones protrude out like a great ape.
    And to be VERY honest, I believe that the problem with giving these “unknown” animals a positive ID is because there actually might be more than one type of up-right walking creature out there.

    I’m pretty sure of it.



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