Monday, March 16, 2015

Himalayan Yeti a Distant Relative of the Polar Bear?

""A Venezuelan evolutionary biologist and a US zoologist state that they have refuted, through mitochondrial DNA sequencing, a recent claim, also based on such sequencing, that unknown type of bear must exist. in the Himalayas and that it may be, at least in part, the source of yeti legends. Their study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
Last year, B. Sykes and co-authors, in the course of mitochondrial DNA sequencing identification of hair samples that had been attributed to "anomalous primates" (yetis, bigfoots, and others), claimed to have found that two samples said to have come from the Himalayas had a 100% match with DNA recovered from a fossil Polar Bear from over 40,000 years ago. On this basis, they concluded that a currently unknown type of bear must inhabit that portion of Asia.""

""The results were partly in agreement with past studies but were also showing some new insights. The data set resulting from studying this part of the bears' genomes seems to be insufficient to make any definitive decisions as to what are the existing relationships on the basis of it alone. In combination with the results of other studies, however, it may very well prove quite useful in making such decisions.
Interestingly, it was found that one sequence from an Asian Black Bear from Japan indicated that it was not closely related to the mainland members of that species. This unexpected large evolutionary distance between these two geographic groups of the Asian Black Bear probably deserves further study.
"In fact, a study looking at the genetic and morphological variability of Asian Black Bear populations throughout the geographic distribution of the species is yet to be conducted, and it would surely yield exciting results," GutiƩrrez said.""

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