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Earth Science

DNA Analysis Finds That Yetis Are Actually Bears (popsci.com) 121

schwit1 shares a report from Popular Science: University of Buffalo biologist Charlotte Lindqvist and her international team in Pakistan and Singapore provided the first strong evidence that presumed yetis are actually bears. They published their results in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on Tuesday. Icon Film secured nine samples that purported to be genuine yeti artifacts, and Lindqvist gathered 15 samples from known bear populations. By sequencing mitochondria from all these sources, she and her fellow researchers were able to determine that all but one of the yeti artifacts actually came from local bears. That last sample was from a dog. They also figured out that Himalayan brown bears split off from the rest of the regional bear population several thousand years ago, which is why they're so genetically distinct from most other brown bears. Living in geographic isolation for so long has separated them from other Asian brown bears, and even from their relatives on the nearby Tibetan plateau. They even look different. But prior to Lindqvist's work, it wasn't clear just how long Himalayan bears had been on their own. Researchers will need higher-quality samples to figure out the whole picture, but even this small step is major for a species that's hardly been studied.
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DNA Analysis Finds That Yetis Are Actually Bears

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  • Thanks, science... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Motard ( 1553251 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2017 @10:19PM (#55647907)

    No, bears are actually bears. Yetis are bullshit.

    Thanks, DNA!

    • by theweatherelectric ( 2007596 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2017 @10:42PM (#55648001)
      Sightings of bigfoot are also probably sightings of bears walking upright [washingtonpost.com].
      • by Anonymous Coward

        That link doesn't say what you think it does. It explain that one group of supposed Sasquatch sightings were actually of a bear walking upright. That doesn't mean it can be extrapolated to explain all Sasquatch sightings.

        The article includes a statement from Matt Moneymaker, who I'm familiar with because he's part of the cast of Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot. I don't think he always examines the evidence critically enough, but I think he's intellectually honest. The cast threatened to quit after the first

        • If you and millions of others had looked for tornadoes and never produced real evidence only anecdotal sightings for generations, then I think you're pretty safe in asserting there is no reason to assume tornadoes exist.

          Contrary to popular belief absence of evidence is evidence of absence, just not proof of absence.

      • No, sightings of Bigfoot are sightings of extremely unkempt hikers or, occasionally, particularly facetious park rangers.

      • Sightings of bigfoot are also probably sightings of bears walking upright [washingtonpost.com].

        I disagree.

        Sightings of bears are really yetis walking on all four.

    • by liquid_schwartz ( 530085 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2017 @10:43PM (#55648005)

      No, bears are actually bears. Yetis are bullshit.

      Thanks, DNA!

      What if they choose to identify as Yeti's DNA be damned? Or is such foolishness only for Homo Sapiens?

      • Only a totally basic shitlord would think that in 2016+1 it is still okay to deny a trans-yeti ursine entity the right to self determination.

    • of course they found bear DNA, yeti is manbearpig. another shill for science leading young people astray with half-truths....or is that one-third truths?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yeti's wear bear skin clothing. It gets cold up there!

  • Balderdash (Score:4, Funny)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2017 @10:32PM (#55647971) Journal
    Nessie, Yeti, an honorable candidate for the Presidency, and a pirate are at a four-way crossing of the roads, equidistant from a trunk full of treasure.

    On your mark, get set, go: who gets to the treasure first?

    There's no such thing as Nessie, there's no such thing as the Yeti, and there's no such thing as an honorable Presidential candidate... Winner Pirate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2017 @10:40PM (#55647993)

    This research was done by bear scientists. Of course they will issue results that will increase their funding. Libturds will probably believe it though. The scientists didn't even take into account that Yetis could have cross-bred with bears, or that DNA can change when frozen in the ICE.

  • "Yeti" is the word for bear in the local language.

  • Yetis are mutated bears, like the yao guai, which are totally real because I killed a mess of them in the Boston area.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @01:06AM (#55648411)
    I like how science is gradually eliminating mysteries. I mean that. There was somebody who complained that google was ruining us because you never had bask in wonder at the world's mysteries. 90% of the ones a regular chap could comprehend were a 2 second search away and you could find solid theories on the other 10%. The guy who wrote it was upset that we lost a sense of mystery, but I see it as as gaining a sense that the universe could be understood. That things happen for defined reasons and that we can, with time and learning take control of our destinies and shape them to our liking. In other words: Fate is bullshit.
    • by quenda ( 644621 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @01:24AM (#55648481)

      I like how science is gradually eliminating mysteries. I mean that.

      You probably don't want to start reading about quantum mechanics them. Its more mysterious than anything in religion or legend.
      The difference is that the batshit crazy predictions turn out to be both testable and true.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I wouldn't dismiss Sasquatches as batshit crazy. I certainly wouldn't put it on the level of the paranormal, for example.

        The evidence can certainly be tested and examined, which is exactly why the supposed Yeti remains can be shown to be from other animals. I also view the search for extraterrestrial life in the same manner. There is no conclusive evidence, and the unexplained evidence is open to interpretation. Most of the supposed evidence has alternative explanations that should be viewed as far more pro

        • by Anonymous Coward

          That is the catch here, and why the article title is misleading. They didn't prove that yeti's don't exist, only that the remains/evidence they have is from a bear and not a yeti. Lack of evidence doesn't necessarily equal non-existence. If that were the case, we wouldn't still be finding new species.

      • but as crazy as it is it's still something to be understood. Like you said, testable and true. In that sense it's not a mystery, just something too complicated to be understood at first (or second, or third, or thousandth) pass.
    • It sure ruins HP Lovecraft, though. Well, that and the racism. I always wondered how he was so popular, being a hardcore bigot like that. Usually the faintest sniff of wrongthink is enough to ruin an author's reputation forever, like what happened to Orson Scott Card.
      • by imidan ( 559239 )

        Lovecraft was writing in the early 1900s. There was a lot of racism among famous writers back then (particularly associated with colonialism). We can't blame them for how the world was when they were alive, and we can't fault them for not posthumously changing their views to meet current norms.

        We *can* be upset that Orson Scott Card has been vocally against gay marriage in an age when gay marriage is obviously acceptable to most people. If he wants to take a principled, public stand against gay marriage (an

        • We can't blame them for how the world was when they were alive, and we can't fault them for not posthumously changing their views to meet current norms.

          Yes we most certainly can. Thomas Jefferson. Checkmate, asshole.

          • by imidan ( 559239 )
            Was there supposed to be a deeper meaning hidden in your non sequitur? Did you forget some of the words? Yahtzee, chucklehead.
            • "We can't blame them for how the world was when they were alive, and we can't fault them for not posthumously changing their views to meet current norms."

              Thomas Jefferson and the rest of them are villified for doing precisely this. Are you really that dense you couldn't make a logical leap like that? Your statement is invalid, we absolutely do judge historical people by modern standards. HP Lovecraft was a shit racist and I have no idea why he's still popular.

              • by imidan ( 559239 )
                Since you've given absolutely no concrete example, I'm going to guess... you're complaining that we unfairly look down on Jefferson for having bastard children with the house slave? I expect whatever point you're trying to make is of about that caliber, so let's go with it. But, guess what? People at that time weren't super excited about him doing that either. That's why they tried to keep it a secret. Bingo, sparky.
        • If you were annoyed by the rudeness of that DNS jerk, read on down the thread a bit. In a back-and-forth exchange, "hyades1" gives him a slap-down for the ages. Turn your sarcasm detector up to "ROFL" and enjoy.

          • by imidan ( 559239 )
            You guys are doing good work down there, thanks for the heads up.
            • My pleasure. I thought you provided a civil, well-reasoned response to him, and his answer was to use Jefferson in a comparison so flawed and simplified it qualifies as dishonest...then do a victory lap.

              I was happy to participate in a very small way to the spanking he got below, when he tried something similar. And I am happy you got to see it.

    • You do realize the paradox in believing that the world is entirely defined by physics and that "fate" (aka determinism) is false? To reconcile your world view, you need to have a mechanism that allows for free will, even if based in randomness. Are QM events truly random? Could they impact the atomic and macro level? Is that your definition of free will? Or are you a dualist? (Which would directly contradict your other stance.)

      Otherwise, you need to accept that physics rules all and fate (determinism) is re

  • by crunchygranola ( 1954152 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @01:17AM (#55648449)

    If you ever tune in to the Bigfoot/Sasquatch enthusiast groups you will find that there are tons of sightings, and lots and lots of physical evidence, hair, coprolites, stuff that would be loaded with Bigfoot DNA. It it was real.

    Despite the fact that anyone can run a DNA test that identifies species for under $100 today, and that finding a single sample of DNA from an unknown primate would make the person finding it famous forever, not a single specimen claimed to be from a Bigfoot has ever been found to have anything but a known animal (usually human, sometimes bear, or other known mammal) as its source.

  • Of course yetis are bears. You can simply tell by their appearance. Scientists should really just move on and focus on the bigger problems.
  • So are you saying that at these locations that people thought that they saw Yetis, there where indigenous bears at the same locations? And no one actually made the obvious connection?

    Here is a hint for those people: If you see a big hairy animal at a distance and you know that there are big hairy animals roaming around called bears. It's fair to assume that those are bears.

    • Rainhold Messner, a famous german mountain climber already speculated in the early 1990/ that Yeti are likely big bears.
      However you simplify it to much. Yeti supposedly live in the Himalaya, and the amount of bears there is so low, ordinary people never see one in their life. Probably they often don't know that there are bears living around.
      Yeti/bear signtings are super rare, and usually people don't survive it ... so it is a bit to simple to accuse them of ignorrance.

  • Mine is a coffee cup.
  • By sequencing mitochondria from all these sources, she and her fellow researchers were able to determine that all but one of the yeti artifacts actually came from local bears.

    At first I was afraid of the wave of destruction that might ensue since I read that as "sequencing midi-chlorian".

    Jedi Yetis... yikes.

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