Thursday, May 21, 2009

Holy Grail of Paleontology: The Link

On the heels of yesterday's post we now have even more info on Ida. Ida (pronounced ee-da) is the oldest and most complete fossilized skeleton of a human/primate ancestor. It is estimated Ida is 47 million years old. By comparison, Lucy, the Australopithecus afarensis and former most complete specimen is only 3 million years old.

One thing is certain If you are a true bigfooter you must watch the History Channel special this Monday the 25th. We encourage to go straight to the History Channel website and check out all the video they have for free on Ida. What are you still doing here?! Check out those Videos!

Then come back here and thank us!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Common Ancestor

(CNN) -- Scientists hailed Tuesday a 47-million-year-old fossil of an ancient "small cat"-sized primate as a possible common ancestor of monkeys, humans and other primates.

The fossil is believed to be an ancestor of monkeys, humans and other primates.

Scientists say the fossil, dubbed "Ida," is a transitional species, living around the time the primate lineage split into two groups: A line that would eventually produce humans and monkeys, and another that would give rise to primates such as lemurs.

The fossil was formally named Darwinius masillae, in honor of the anniversary of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday.

"This is the most complete primate fossil before human burial," said Dr. Jorn Hurum, of the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo, who led the study of the fossil, a young female primate.

"And it's not a few million years old; it's 47 million years old," Hurum said, speaking at a news conference at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The fossil was discovered in 1983 in the Messel Pit, Germany, near Frankfurt, and had been until recently in private collections, according to an article published Tuesday in the scientific journal PLoS ONE, a publication of the Public Library of Science. Read the report from PLoS ONE

However, because it was split into two parts, its significance was not immediately recognized.

An international team of scientists, which Hurum led, conducted a detailed forensic analysis of the fossil for the past two years, the release said.

Hurum nicknamed the fossil Ida after his young daughter, he said.

The fossil's body is nearly complete; only part of one leg is missing, according to Hurum. In addition to the bones, the softer features are also preserved, as are the remnants of its last meal: fruits, seeds and leaves, which were found in Ida's gut, according to the scientists.

"It's such a beautiful specimen," Hurum said of Ida. He said the fossil is about 2 feet long, "like a small cat in size."

The fossil has both adult and baby teeth, indicating that it was weaned and about 9 months old when it died, the PLoS article said.

She would have eventually grown to the size of a lemur, the article said.

The young primate fossil does not have two crucial anatomical features found in lemurs: a grooming claw on the second digit of its foot and a fused row of teeth in the middle of its lower jaw, known as a toothcomb, the scientists said.

X-rays revealed a broken wrist, which the team of scientists believe may have contributed to Ida's death, according to a news release from the museum at Oslo.

Ida may have been overcome by carbon dioxide gas while drinking from the Messel lake, which was often covered by a low-lying blanket of the gas, the news release said. Hampered by the broken wrist, the young primate may have fallen into unconsciousness and may have slipped into the lake. The primate sunk to the bottom and was preserved for 47 million years, the news release said.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hart -less

Leigh Hart (pictured left), aka “That Guy”—a humor columnist/comedian for the New Zealand Herald that seems to be a cross between Dave Barry and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), recently tweaked the noses and bruised the egos of the dedicated Bigfooters attending a Bigfoot conference in Ohio. Like “Borat,” Hart travels around misrepresenting himself while depending on the kindness and naiveté of strangers. He then writes or films humorous accounts of his exploits, mostly at the expense of the people he meets. Hart’s latest victims/subjects were the attendees at the 21st Annual Bigfoot Conference / EXPO at the Salt Fork State Park Lodge in Ohio at the beginning of this month.

He attended the conference hoping for the chance to engage in his own brand of skullduggery, and he got a break when one of the featured speakers, Doug Hajicek (the man behind History Channel’s show Monster Quest) proved to be a no-show. According to Hart, “I saw an opportunity, and volunteered to speak.” At this point, it’s hard to know exactly what was said that earned Hart a spot on the program, he claimed to be a TV producer and an expert on the New Zealand variety of Bigfoot, but that’s exactly what happened. His talk was a carefully crafted web of absurdities designed to poke fun at the very concept of Bigfoot, not to mention the people who believe in them. Hart even claimed to own the world’s largest feces analyzing machine, which might explain the distinct odor of BS that surrounded his appearance at the conference.

In his apology, Hart claimed that his, “intention was never to insult anybody personally,” but honestly, his type of humor relies on insulting and demeaning innocent people by making them the butt of the joke. And Billy Willard, the Director of Sasquatch Watch of Virginia, wrote that Hart’s article was “the height of unprofessionalism.” Well, I beg to differ. In this time of reality TV shows and Borat-type humor—this genre of humor dates back at least to Candid Camera, though now it’s distinctly nastier in temperament—this type of “humorous” treatment is the professional norm.

But seriously, while I hate to blame the victim in this case, a simple Google search would have revealed Hart’s identity and his modus operandi, and this situation would have at least been minimized. Honestly, though, he still would have written his column no matter what, given that he was actually there at the conference. Well, when one of your major speakers cancels, you tend to grab whatever opportunity that comes your way, even if it is too good to be true. And in this case, it certainly was.

Hermon Joyner

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

AKA Bigfoot World Map

A Bigfoot by any other name...

Check out this highly interactive AKA Bigfoot World Map, created by your truly.

View AKA Bigfoot World Map in a larger map

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hobbits have feet like Bigfoot

Bizarre foot
"My problem with that is that it doesn't speak to the rest of the skeleton," says Jungers, who also presented his analysis of the hobbit's bizarre foot at an anthropology conference last year.

For starters, the feet of H. floresiensis are far longer than would be expected of 1-metre tall H. erectus or H. sapiens. The resulting need to drag its feet back high with each step to avoid kicking the ground would have limited its ability to move swiftly. It also has unarched feet. "It's never going to win the 100-yard dash, and it's never going to win the marathon," Jungers says.

Both features also point to an ancestor that predates fleet-footed H. erectus, Jungers says. "If in fact human evolution redesigned the bipedal foot in some way, these guys missed the train."

A closer inspection of the bones in the hobbit's nearly complete left foot reveal both modern and archaic characteristics. Its short big toe resembles that of an australopithecine like Lucy, while the shapes of the toe bones appear human. "It's definitely a head-scratcher," Jungers says.

He speculates that the hobbit's closest relative is a species of human more ancient than H. erectus, with a smaller brain – perhaps H. habilis.

Hobbits 'are a separate species'

It has been accepted by two separate studies that Homo floresiensis is indeed a separate species!

This is delightful news. Although it does not necessarily prove Bigfoot is possible, it definitely supports that Bigfoot is possible.

One of the primary theories of bigfoot is the species may have a common ancestor with a modern day primate. This is exactly the case with Homo floresiensis approx 1 million years ago. The theory is not completely fleshed out, but the common ancestor may have been Homo erectus .

reported by the BBC is the following...

Hobbits 'are a separate species'

The Hobbit's foot is in many ways quite primitive
Scientists have found more evidence that the Indonesian "Hobbit" skeletons belong to a new species of human - and not modern pygmies.

The one metre (3ft) tall, 30kg (65lbs) humans roamed the Indonesian island of Flores, perhaps up to 8,000 years ago.

Since the discovery, researchers have argued vehemently as to the identity of these diminutive people.

Two papers in the journal Nature now support the idea they were an entirely new species of human.

The team, which discovered the tiny remains in Liang Bua cave on Flores, contends that the population belongs to the species Homo floresiensis - separate from our own grouping Homo sapiens .

They argue that the "Hobbits" are descended from a prehistoric species of human - perhaps Homo erectus - which reached island South-East Asia more than a million years ago.

Over many years, their bodies most likely evolved to be smaller in size, through a natural selection process called island dwarfing, claim the discoverers, and many other scientists.

However, some researchers argued that this could not account for the Hobbit's chimp-sized brain of almost 400 cubic cm - a third the size of the modern human brain.

Original article at BBC News Worls America

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bigfoot: Descendant of Cain

I have heard many theories regarding Bigfoot. Missing Link. Undiscovered North-American ape. Living modern branch of Gigantopithicus. Inter-dimensional time traveling monster summoned from the physics experiments during the US Government funded Montauk Project. Really, I'm a fan of all of these and thought I had heard all of these. Not True.

Enter Matt Bowman. You may remember him from a previous post Is Bigfoot My Brothers Keeper? He wrote a paper published by the JOURNAL OF MORMON HISTORY VOLUME 33, NO. 3 FALL 2007. It is an article entitled A Mormon Bigfoot: David Patten’s Cain and the Concept of Evil in LDS Folklore.

I will give you the Readers Digest version. Multiple historical Mormon documents reference an Bigfoot-like encounter experienced by David W. Patten. Patten was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The creature is described as a hairy man of ill smell, who claimed to be none other than Cain himself. Yes, the creature talked.

Why am I bringing this up again? Because, I was a little disappointed after reading Matt Bowman's Paper. I realized there is no mention of one of the most respected BF scientists out there, Jeff Meldrum. Why would/should have Matt Bowman mentioned Jeff Meldrum? Jeff Meldrum is a BYU Alumni AND Author of the Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. A book recognized and recommended by Jane Goodall, in fact she is quoted on the cover, "...[Sasquatch:LMS] brings a much needed level of scientific analysis to the Sasquatch-or Bigfoot-debate."

Being ever diligent I have corresponded with both Matt Bowman and Jeff Meldrum. I should first say both are very gracious and kind. Although I must say Mr.Meldrum shattered my own private personal Bigfoot hypothesis, but that's another post altogether.

First Mr.Meldrum's response to the Cain/Bigfoot Paper:
I am aware of the primary citations, but haven't encountered Bowman's paper...I don't place any significance in Patten's "experience" for Sasquatch research, but would be interested to learn more about its historical context.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Jeff Meldrum

Your welcome Jeff, I had a hunch as a Mormon you may have heard of David W. Patten and as a published well-recognized and respected Sasquatch researcher you may also have had something to say about the whole thing.

Matt Bowman's response?
In retrospect probably should have included something about Meldrum in the paper; I was aware of him when I did the research, but just didn't find a good place to fit him in. I've seen some of his work but have never spoken to him personally, so I'm not sure what drives his interest.

Overall, though, I'd say he fits in with the trend among Mormons I describe in the paper away from a more supernatural interpretation of Bigfoot and toward an increasingly scientific approach.


So there you have it mystery solved.

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