Sasquatch Ancestors and Monkeys Diverged 25 Million Years Ago

Posted by: Guy Edwards on May 17th, 2013

Bigfoot Lunch Club

Artist’s reconstruction of two new Oligocene primates, the ape Rukwapithecus
(foreground left) and the Old World monkey Nsungwepithecus (background right).

“These discoveries are important because they offer the earliest fossil evidence for either of these primate groups,” –Nancy Stevens
anthropologist at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio

So more specifically, the fossils suggest the time when apes diverged from monkeys, or as I like to translate it, “when Sasquatch ancestors diverged from monkeys”. Skeptics will prefer that I am not so definitive about the existence of Bigfoots and some bigfooters would prefer I not diminish Bigfoots’ intelligence and culture by associating them to apes. In order to to dissuade both camps from criticism I’m just gonna say that a blog about Bigfoot is obviously hopeful that Bigfoot will be a recognized species and to non-apers, apes is a designation of biology, not a comment on culture or intelligence.

Now we can get to the cool part and why this article is interesting. There was a gap in the fossil record and we really didn’t know when monkeys and apes diverged. DNA research suggested it was about 25 million years ago, but we had no physical evidence that supported that. So this is a twofer;

1) we get solid physical evidence and

2) it supports what DNA had suggested.

Due to the confirmation of what DNA can tell us, This finding makes us more anxious for what is store with Bryan Sykes Bigfoot DNA study and Future Bigfoot DNA studies in general.

Read the details from an excerpt of the LiveScience article below:

The fossil remnants of these two primate species date back to 25 million years ago, filling a gap in the fossil record that reveals when apes and monkeys first diverged.

“These discoveries are important because they offer the earliest fossil evidence for either of these primate groups,” said lead study author Nancy Stevens, an anthropologist at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

DNA evidence has long suggested that apes and Old World monkeys diverged from a common ancestor between 25 million and 30 million years ago. But until now, no fossils older than 20 million years had been found.

The age of the new specimens extends the origin of apes and Old World monkeys into the Oligocene Epoch, which lasted from 34 million to 23 million years ago. Previously, only three primate species were known from the late Oligocene globally, Stevens said.

“These finds can help us to further refine hypotheses about the timing of diversification of major primate groups,” Stevens said.

You can read the full article at Live Science

Guy Edwards About Guy Edwards
Psychology reduces to biology, all biology to chemistry, chemistry to physics, and finally physics to mathematical logic. Guy Edwards is host of the Portland, OR event

19 Responses to “Sasquatch Ancestors and Monkeys Diverged 25 Million Years Ago”

  1. Matthew Pfeifer via Facebook responds:

    Doesn’t DNA break down in time, so how can you be 100% sure?

  2. Evso Rivers via Facebook responds:

    Bigfoots seriously she is gonna use Bigfoots as the plural for the species! Big (foot) …foot is singular. Sasquatch now that is better a Sasquatch….a group of Sasquatch. A male adult Sasquatch a group of male Sasquatch don’t you agree the word Sasquatch is a better term that also lends itself to a plural reference just listen when Matt Moneymaker says Bigfoots and I get douche chills …just saying

  3. hoodoorocket responds:

    Not to sound critical, but this primate divergence story is a big deal.

    Sasquatch is an “IF”. Its existence is a matter of belief, not proven science.

    I think the magnitude of this finding is diminished by sidetracking to a tenuous supposition and stating it as concrete fact.

    If we want to gather philosophical wool, that is fine and well, but let’s try to keep it in the framework of supposition.

    I am not a skeptic. I consider myself an open mind and listen to arguments on both sides.

    I might be a meanie for adhereing to the rules of evidence, debate, and investigation, but that does not make me a skeptic. Seeing your sasquatch sidetrack as a mis-step does not make me a skeptic either.

  4. DWA responds:

    I haven’t seen enough of these lately. These articles are one of the best things about Cryptomundo. Thanks.

  5. hoodoorocket responds:

    …Didn’t mean for my last post to end on a sour note- I meant to say “Thank you” for bringing this important story to the attention of those of us who may not have been exposed to it through more scientific outlets.

    Well done on that count.

  6. DWA responds:

    Now I should say somethng here about the most frequent of the several points I regularly make here about the fossil record:

    It’s incomplete.

    This find doesn’t confirm when monkeys and apes first diverged. It provides evidence that estimates from DNA might be in the ballpark.


    An Eocene ape would be problematical. But who’s to say we won’t find one?

    (And anyone who thinks we have “no evidence” for sasquatch might want to look at those illustrations- and then note the fragments from which the reconstructions were made. Drawings of sasquatch are backed up by far more evidence.)

  7. hoodoorocket responds:

    @ DWA, I’m in agreement 100%. Well 90%, anyway, the illustrations are acceptable extrapolations of found evidence, evidence that says this was a real animal. With Bigfoot there is evidence, and some of it is very compelling, but nothing like a tooth or a jaw.

    I especially second your use of the word “might”. If that one little word would have been used in the above post, I would have found the article to be a thought-provoking extension of the scientific divergence report.

    Without it, I am willing to discount the entire sasquatch angle put forward in the blog.

    I am always intrigued by just how incomplete the fossil evidence must be. Consider that almost all found fossils are specimens that met freak deaths very near water, and more miraculously, each ended up in very unusual environmental situations to preserve them. It’s like they won two lottery tickets the same day.

    Out of all the life on earth today, alive at this moment, what infinitesimally small sampling would meet their ends in that way, in order to populate entirely the bestiaries of the distant future? What a skewed sampling that would be.

  8. corrick responds:

    Excuse me for pointing out the obvious.
    Whether apes and monkeys diverged during the ogliocene has absolutely nothing to do with anything about modern day homonid sightings. I mean that’s the time when what we now call “grasses” first appeared on earth!

  9. DWA responds:


    “@ DWA, I’m in agreement 100%. Well 90%, anyway, the illustrations are acceptable extrapolations of found evidence, evidence that says this was a real animal. With Bigfoot there is evidence, and some of it is very compelling, but nothing like a tooth or a jaw.”

    Well of course you’re right with regard to the illustrations here. The last thing I’d want to do – I mean, I’m advocating research into bigfoot, ferpetesake – is quash intelligent scientific speculation.

    But if I were a police officer asking someone for a description of her attacker, I would much rather get stuff like clothing, skin color, hair, gait, etc., than to be handed a jawbone to work from. Actually, in the latter case I’d be tempted to yell “case closed!” and tell her I wouldn’t tell anyone if she didn’t.

  10. muircertach responds:

    I have a book full of drawings of mythical animals. But not one of them is real.

  11. DWA responds:

    How many of those animals you’re drawing have thousands of people I’m betting are as sober as you, at least, seen? Scientists vouch for any of them? Just checking.

  12. hoodoorocket responds:

    Muircertach’s and DWA’s comments, while coming from different angles are converging towards an interesting point.

    @ Muircertach; I too have books of drawings of mythical animals. Care to guess how many of them were formed from third and fourth hand retellings of traveler’s descriptions of real animals? The majority of all mythical creatures are twisted and embellished accounts of real animals.

    @ DWA; While eyewitness testimony is important evidence, it is an unreliable evidence. The mind filters all incoming sensory data and translates it into thought. When it recieves sensory input it does not understand, or can’t cope with, it will often rewrite the input with more acceptable data to complete the process. The car is now blue, the man now has blond hair, these things become memory, instead of the case of a switcheroo made by the subconscious to placate the conscious mind’s need for order.

    As unreliable as direct eye witness is, it can be important evidence. However imperfect the recounting maybe, it in no way diminshes the vital fact that this person was on the scene when the event in question happened. Second hand (and third hand, etc.) recountings are almost always useless except as touchstones to discover who was the firsthand witness.

    So, as different as your two statements are, I see them being closely entertwined.

    If the mythical menehune is now borne out in the fossil remains of Homo floresiensis, then the lengendary woodwose may yet be vindicated. It will be the physical evidence that eventually closes the book on the mystery.

  13. DWA responds:

    hoodoorocket: No question about it.

    Eyewitness testimony is inherently flawed as evidence; but it is important testimony. One of the things I can’t get over about bigfoot skeptics is the insistence that considering eyewitness testimony important automatically means that one thinks it is proof. Eyewitnesses by no means constitute proof. But until it is determined what the truth is about their reports, they remain open and unresolved.

    Thousands of consistent eyewitnesses make it increasingly unlikely that they are mistaken. This isn’t a certainty; it is a bet based on review of evidence. To circ-file the eyewitness testimony because it isn’t proof is to commit the argument from incredulity, which is inadmissible to a scientific debate.

    The way I see it: If we can draw pictures of two animals that speculate their eye color, hair color and ear size and shape based on a tooth and a jawbone between the two, we can certainly consider thousands of consistent eyewitnesses, who actually seem to have seen those features on a living animal, much more compelling than science apparently does.

  14. muircertach responds:

    Why is DWA allowed to be so nasty on here? I know this will not be posted but it is a legitimate question.

  15. muircertach responds:

    Thousands claim to have seen dragons. They are still not real. And no I will not ask about anyone’s sobriety that would be off topic.

  16. DWA responds:

    muircertach: I’m not nasty. I’m simply making comments. That is nasty? Show me where I am being nasty. Disagreeing with you?

    I think your first comment is nastier than anything I’ve posted, and it’s not nasty.

    Skeptics should not come to crypto sites with thin skins. Not a good combo. You are going to get disagreed with.

    Point me to the Dragon Database and I promise to start taking dragons more seriously. Otherwise, one is just not being cognizant of the relative levels of evidence one is dealing with.

  17. Steve Plambeck responds:

    @ Matthew Pfeifer, who wrote: “Doesn’t DNA break down in time, so how can you be 100% sure?”

    The DNA comparison referred to isn’t between the fossils (which wouldn’t contain any at all) but a comparison between that of living apes and monkeys, the results of which suggest a date of divergence 25 MYA. Now two recently discovered fossils, the subjects of the article, one of an ape and one of an old world monkey, dated at 25 million years of age, corroborate that divergence had indeed occurred by then. That’s basically all that article means. The “genetic clock” predicts we should still be able to tell monkey fossils from ape fossils that far back, and here are separate fossils that prove it. This is only half the proof the “genetic clock” has been correctly calibrated. The other half of the proof would be in that no separate monkey/ape fossils exist any older than this, but unfortunately you can’t prove a negative. Older ape fossils should never be found if the genetic clock is right. If any turn up, the clock needs recalibrating, but with this find we can say “so far, so good”.

  18. DWA responds:

    Steve Plambeck: right. (Insofar as I get these things; I’m no scientist.)

    This doesn’t prove that we’re right about when the divergence happened; it means we can consider ourselves still “warm.” I don’t necessarily think as “warm” as the article seems to imply; if distinct fossils go this far back, no reason they can’t go a lot farther. But yeah, we still have reason to believe the estimated divergence timeframe might be on target.

  19. DWA responds:

    I did have a question:

    Is there any thinking about where this puts Proconsul africanus, an Oligocene species (approx. 18 MYA) of which says Wikipedia: “Opinion currently favors a position between the monkeys and the apes”?

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