Bigfoot Facts :: More than you ever wanted to know about Mr. Bigstuff
This is the most comprehensive information available on Bigfoot. It's alot of information but it will give you a better understanding of what is generally known about our furry friend.
DESCRIPTION (Scroll down for a detailed description of Bigfoot)
Bigfoot is a large, hairy, bipedal non-human primate that is distributed over the North American continent to varying degrees of concentration. Its massiveness, deviation from human bearing and different gait leave no doubt in the mind of observers that they have seen a creature different from man or known animals. Bigfoot is a humanlike creature and has been reported most often in the mountains of California, Oregon, and Washington, and of British Columbia in Canada. Canadians call it Sasquatch. However, there have been legitimate sightings in all 50 states. Bigfoot stories resemble those about the Abominable Snowman, a hairy beast said to live in the Himalayas and other mountainous areas of central and northeastern Asia called Abominable Snowman.
Descriptions of the Bigfoot vary slightly, but the creature is most often described as taller than a human (up to three meters in height), heavily built (up to 500 pounds), and covered in long, thick brown, red or black hair. Like an ape, it has thick fur, long arms, powerful shoulders, and a short neck. It walks upright with a smooth, graceful, long-striding two-footed walk. The footprints left by the creatures are, on average, considerably larger than that of a human (approx. 16 inches). For the most part, the creatures have been shy and reclusive. They normally try to avoid contact with humans. Every now and then there are reports of sightings in populated areas.
Tens of thousands of people have reported seeing the Bigfoot or its footprints. There is no question that the vast majority of legitimate Bigfoot sightings go unreported because of the stigma and ridicule that people who have witnessed the creature often endure. That being said, there have been literally thousands of reported encounters all over North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
North American native folklore and cultural artifacts (such as masks, totem poles, and carvings) exist in abundance, demonstrating the prehistoric knowledge of these creatures. Native accounts discuss Bigfoot with names peculiar to each linguistic and tribal group.
Among Euro-Americans, early reports talk of these beings with names like “wild men".
The first known written account of such a creature in western America dates back to 1811 and appears in the journal of one David Thompson, surveyor and trader for the Northwest Company of Canada. But accounts from the eastern United States appear soon thereafter. In fact, the oldest North American newspaper account appeared in the Exeter Watchman of New York on September 22, 1818.
In 1840, Elkanah Walker, a pioneer and missionary to the Spokane Indians in Washington State, recorded in his diary tales he had heard from the natives about the race of giants who lived in the snow-covered mountain peaks, who stole salmon from the Indian nets and whose smell was nearly intolerable.
In 1892, a German fur trapper by the name of Bauman was hunting with a friend around a section of the Salmon River in the Bitterroot Mountains between the state of Idaho and Montana (where Bigfoot sightings continue to this day). Their terrifying encounter with Bigfoot was recorded in a book by President Teddy Roosevelt called, "The Wilderness Hunter", published in 1892.
A Colonist newspaper from the early 1900s in Victoria, British Columbia, printed several stories about "monkey men" being spotted in remote wooded areas.
Bigfoot sightings are continually reported to this day in all 50 states. For a comprehensive list of sightings by state and county, check out the Bigfoot Field Research Organizations website. They have the most comprehensive sighting database as well as the most up to date scientific info on Bigfoot. Find them here.
For many years Bigfoot was considered to be restricted to the Pacific Northwest. This region was perceived as the only area of North America sufficiently forested and undeveloped to support a population of this species without it's members being commonly observed. However, there have been sightings in all 50 states and Canada. Areas in the Midwest, south and east coast have hundreds of sightings but have been treated as local phenomenon. Reports of regional monsters quickly become items of local folklore and, as such, are treated as unscientific and of merely local interest. Thus we have the skunk ape or swamp monkey of Florida, the brush ape of Missouri (or MO-MO the Missouri monster), the fouke monster of southwest Arkansas and the grassman of Ohio.
Total numbers for the species in North America have been estimated by various approaches to be from a few thousand up to 10,000. By comparison, black bears number between 650,000 and 700,000 in North America., including all of Canada and part of Alaska
In western culture, Bigfoot and Sasquatch are the most recognizable and often used names. The name "Bigfoot" comes from the 1960’s and was coined by men who found footprints in their Northern California logging camp. The media adopted the term and it has been widely used ever since. The word "Sasquatch" comes from the native Salish language and means "wild man”. Indian tribes across North America have more than sixty different terms for the Sasquatch.
NORTH AMERICA - Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, WildMan, Man Bear, Wicca, Bukwas, Wooley Booger, Skunk Ape, Chickas, Yowie, Hill Ghost, Monster of the Mountain.
EUROPE - Kaptar, Biabin-guli, Grendel, Ferla Mohir, Brenin Ilwyd
AFRICA - Ngoloko, Kikomba, Waterbobbejan.
ASIA - Gin-sung, Yeti, Yeren, Mirygdy, Mecheny, Chinese Wildman, Nguoi Rung
THE PATTERSON FILM - On October20, 1967, two men on horseback, Roger Patterson, who shot the film and Bob Gimlin, a friend, took to the northern Californian woods of Bluff Creek in the hopes of photographing one of these elusive creatures. They were not disappointed. In the late afternoon, Patterson and Gimlin encountered the creature. Patterson’s horse reared and knocked him to the ground. He quickly jumped up and ran toward the creature. It responded by simply walking away. Gimlin kept his friend covered with a rifle in case it attacked. It walked into the trees and vanished. The two men decided against following the creature thinking there maybe a confrontation with either it -or more of its kind that could be in the area. After it was filmed, many scientists dissected the footage. Some claim the film was indeed that of an unknown animal. Others claim it was merely a man in an obvious monkey suit. The creature that was filmed was a female, breasts are clearly visible in many frames of the film.
See the video that shows definitively that the PG film is authentic
Scientists who have studied the film have said that the stride of the creature is larger than that of a man. The reality is, the Patterson footage has never been discredited. In fact, the North American Science Institutes (NASI) forensic examiners studied the film for 3 years and concluded " It could not be demonstrated to be a forgery ." They also say it would have been extremely difficult for a man to simulate this large stride. Footprints were also found later at the same location. The footprints were the same type as typically found at a Bigfoot sighting.
FOOTPRINTS - There have been hundreds of footprint casts made by extremely respected researchers as well as amateur Bigfoot enthusiasts. The average length of the Bigfoot tracks measured and reported over the years from various parts of North America is 16 inches. Footprint casts with dermal ridges, have been authenticated by a leading primate fingerprint expert as an "unknown primate ." Dermal ridges are as precise as fingerprints.
There is plenty of food in the areas the Bigfoot frequents to sustain a large community of these animals. Here is a general list of what they could survive on:
Plants - there are many wild plants, flowers and roots that are edible such as mushrooms, berries wild onions
Nuts - there are acorns, pine cones and a few other edible nuts
Fish - salmon and trout
Insects - snails, grubs and grasshoppers are just a few examples
Red Meat - deer, small mammals and rodents.
White Meat - various fowl
Skin color ranges from the deepest black or charcoal to deep brown, "sunburned" reddish brown, and gray. Some areas, like the nose, appear at times in a shiny, oily black color. The palms are lighter in color, and the soles of the feet quite light, presumably as a result of thick sole pads composed, as in other primates, of fat and connective tissue. A few albinistic sasquatches have been seen, whose skin color was pink.
The sasquatch is covered with hair, not fur. Fur has guard hairs and an undercoat, while primate hair consists of one type of hair alone. The sasquatch, being a primate, does not molt its hair, but it is replaced one hair at a time, hence is not found in wooly batches.
Color of the hair ranges from black or dark (50%), through various shades of reddish-brown and gray to white. The body can have varicolored patches of hair. Older animals have increasingly grey hair, though color does not appear to change from childhood to adulthood. Hair is variously glossy clean and shiny, fluffy, or dirty, matted and unkempt ("angora goat dreadlocks"), probably a function of native curliness, age, or of recent immersion in water or lack thereof. Females have been reported to be cleaner than males.
Hair length ranges from 3" to around 2’ (15" longest measured in hand, longer observed in the wild). There is no taper or color banding other than graying with age. Long hair covers the head and, almost invariably, the ears; very short hair on the face; occasional reports of heavy hairiness in male faces ("mustache" and "beard") vs. no facial hair in females; long hair across the top of the shoulders (once described as "bouncing like a cape" ); long hair on the forearms ("like a spaniel"); different orientations of hair on back; breasts in females hair covered (contrary to a mistaken claim in the literature); long hair on buttocks, sometimes overhanging them; groin with enough hair to obscure genitalia; and long hair on the calves (like "bellbottom pants" in a sasquatch observed standing in snow). The hair stood visibly on end in situations where the sasquatch appeared frightened.
Under the microscope (Fig. 2), the average diameter of hair is 65 µm (40-90 µm), these values derived from 15 separately collected samples in four States. The cortex has a uniform reddish tinge plus fine pigment granule distribution, whereas the medulla is absent. Intense efforts at DNA analysis of the hair have been uniformly negative, possibly a function of the lacking medulla. Most human hair (Fig. 3) has a medulla, if only fragmentary, but fine blond hair occasionally looks similar to sasquatch hair. Hence, there is no absolute distinction that can be made. Hair from other forest species, like rodents, carnivores, and ungulates can be differentiated without question
About 10-15% of close encounters are connected with an intense, disagreeable stench, comparable to the odor of smegma. Gorillas under conditions of distress exude a gagging, overpowering aroma, the origin of which is the axillary organ, i.e., the armpit with its apocrine sweat glands. The same anatomy probably pertains to the sasquatch.
Many reports refer to uneasiness of man or animals ("being watched") well ahead of any subsequent encounter. A pheromone effect has been suggested, meaning the release of a behavior pattern, "fight or flight", by an airborne molecule.
The head, though massive by direct comparison to that of man, has been described as "relatively" small for an animal of that size, indicative of a rather small brain. The head develops a sagittal crest in adult males as well as in females, probably bony, which sometimes produces the effect of a person wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Some animals, possibly younger, have a round head. Brain volume is probably close to or slightly above that of the gorilla.
There is a conspicuous brow ridge with a receding forehead, giving the eyes a deep-set look. The face (Fig. 4) is rather flat with prominent cheekbones, a square jaw, and the mouth region is only slightly protuberant. Deep brown eye color predominates, with a "red" component common (probably a bloodshot sclera). A white sasquatch was reported to have blue eyes. Night reflection from eyes varies most commonly between red and yellow and is probably dependent on pupillary size rather than true reflectivity.
The nose is near human in shape, though "pug" or flat, sometimes with forward directed nostrils. The mouth is often reported to be thin-lipped, with yellowish, square teeth with human appearance. When larger canines have been seen, they did not project substantially beyond the plane of the other teeth and would be subject to wear with time. Ears are almost invariably hidden under hair and have been reported to be either rounded or pointed.
Muscles from the back of the head flare out to the shoulders to obscure the neck. A result is that, as in weight lifters, the body is usually turned with the head when a rearward view is desired.
Overall, sasquatches seem to exhibit as much individual diversity in looks as do people, ranging from a typical ape appearance to one described as "an old Indian". The cause may well be the result of the animal not being subject to predation, its young being nurtured and protected into near adulthood, and differences in appearance not being a selective handicap. The same considerations apply to the diversity of coat colors.
The trunk is generally carried at a forward angle of about 15° ("hunched over"). This means that the species has not achieved a full upright stance, a difference from human beings, although at times the animals stand up straight. When ultimately a specimen comes to hand, the hip anatomy will be of telling importance to the evolution of an upright stance.
The shoulders are proportionately wider than those of man, measuring about 40% of the height in a sasquatch compared to 25-30% in man. Large sasquatches have been described as having four to five foot wide shoulders. They are barrel-chested, with a large respiratory tidal volume, often commented upon when their stertorous breathing has been heard. The Patterson sasquatch (filmed in the famous 1967 movie), a female slightly below the mean height of the population, has a chest circumference of about 60" (a value calculated from available images). This circumference would be about 65" for the average-sized animal and well above 75" for the largest individuals that have been seen.
Females have breasts, small and conical near puberty, rather heavy and pendulous during reproductive years and shrunken in old age. They are hair-covered except for the nipples and areolae.
The arms are massive and might exceed human length somewhat, frequently reported as hanging close to their knees, though accentuated by the slouching stance of the animals. They are particularly hairy along the forearms and end in very large and massive hands (once described as "the size of paddles").
The hand deviates in slight but significant ways from the human model (as derived from hand and knuckle prints). Fingers are generally shorter, especially the thumb, and the latter is carried "farther toward the wrist" as compared to the position in man. The hand largely lacks the thenar pad (the mounded muscle at the base of the thumb), a corollary of the lowest opposability found in the higher primates. The hand is proportionately broader than that of man, palm width in adults measuring up to 8". Both finger and toe nails are deeply colored ("nicotine stained"), presumably a combination of dirt and thick keratin, though fingernails are light colored in some. There are no claws.
Young males have a V-shaped trunk, tapering from a wide chest to a narrower waist, whereas the female trunk has an overall barrel shape. Female hips seem to be broader than those of the male. Either sex rarely has a protruding abdomen (other than during pregnancy in the female). Genitalia in the female are hidden by hair, as are generally those of the male. The massive sexual swelling, observed in some female apes, has not been seen in the sasquatch.
The legs are massive, especially the thighs, in one case reported to be the diameter of a "garbage can" (about 20"), but even in the (female) Patterson sasquatch about 15" thick. The calves are also unusually muscular, the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle being particularly prominent in rear views of the Patterson sasquatch.
Feet are most amply recorded by way of innumerable measured footprints. They range in recorded length from barely walking infants at 4"-5" to known female prints and very large presumptive male footprints. The mean length of 702 prints (collected over nearly 50 years) is 15.6" with a range of 4" to 27", and a mean width of about 0.45 times that of the length. This proportion remains about the same with increasing length of the feet. Feet grow in excess of gain in height of the animals to compensate for the exponential increase in weight with linear dimensions. The foot does not have an arch, but retains the primitive primate midsole flexure of apes, called a metatarsal hinge. During running, often only the anterior half of the foot (anterior to the metatarsal hinge) contacts the ground. The toes are capable of substantial splaying in slippery terrain, especially abduction of the big toe. The sole is very thick and indents deeply over uneven terrain without harm to the animal.
The height average for the sampled population is 7’ 10", derived from a combination of eye witness estimates and scaling from footprints. Babies shortly after birth are small (and "ugly", as one eye witness commented) by human standards, but grow rapidly and evidently walk at an early age. Aside from infants being carried, small walking sasquatches, 3-4’ tall, have been seen. The animals reach maturity at a height of 6’-7’ and the largest, reliably estimated individuals exceed 10’. Males are taller than females, but seemingly by no more than about a foot at the median of the population.
Weight is difficult to estimate on sight and seems to vary from animal to animal as much as in people, but a tight, established relationship exists in primates between chest circumference and weight. Applying this formula, the average sasquatch can be estimated to weigh 650 lbs, the Patterson sasquatch 540 lbs, and the maximum (for a 24" or larger footprint) probably to exceed 1,000 lbs.
The sasquatch is a predominantly nocturnal animal and its night vision exceeds that of man substantially. It is probable that this increase in night vision is a function of a larger eye and pupillary size rather than a reflecting layer. The animals walk with ease in seeming total darkness, but forage during the day. An indication of their nighttime activity is the fact that they are seen as frequently during the night, if not more often, than during the day, despite the limited sight distance and detection by nocturnal observers.
In parallel with other large primates, sasquatch senses are acute but probably not more so than those of a human aborigine, e.g., American Indians before the deterioration of their senses by pollution and noise. They detect the approach of man by simply remaining still in forested environment, but there have been many occasions where a sasquatch failed to detect a resting person in full view, simply because the animal was preoccupied and the person did not move or make a sound.
The sasquatch seems hardened to pain and discomfort, living in, to our perception, disagreeable climates and walking through blackberry thickets, Devil’s Club, icy streams, and sharp rocks without deviation, though they seem to value on occasion the soft comfort of mole hills, moss or a freshly graded berm of a forest road, as their footprints testify.
Diet and Digestion:
The sasquatch is an omnivore with a substantial carnivorous component to its diet. They have been observed directly to eat leaves, berries, fruits, roots, aquatic plants and other vegetable matter, catch fish, dig up clams or ground squirrels, and prey on poultry, deer, elk and bear. In addition, they eat other odd items, such as young evergreen shoots, crayfish, road kill, meat or fish from human storage sites, hunter-killed game animals (these sometimes snatched in front of the hunter), and occasional garbage. They take an occasional livestock animal, but not with sufficient frequency as to produce organized persecution.
They appear to kill large prey animals by a blow with the fist, rock or stick or by twisting their necks, sometimes to the point of decapitation. Liver and other internal organs are their first targets. The remaining meat is sometimes stored on the ground under a haphazard shelter of sticks or lifted into tree forks above ground. No compelling evidence exists that they store food in any substantial way beyond this; only rarely has a sasquatch been observed carrying a fish some distance from its origin, or a deer, presumably into hiding.
Caloric requirements per gram of living matter decrease as a function of total mass of the animal. Nonetheless, the nutritional needs of an average sasquatch can be calculated to amount to about 5,000 calories per day. This amount can only be fulfilled by rather constant searching for food and especially by intermittent predation. Sasquatches have been seen both with substantial girth as well as looking decidedly skinny.
Drinking has been observed by small animals dipping their faces into the water, while adults commonly drink out of a cupped hand, or resort to a cupped leaf or a dry, hollow stem of a weed.
Their feces are sausage-shaped, up to 4" inches in diameter and up to three feet long, forming a folded heap. They are replete with numerous intestinal parasites, including hook worms, as well as small bones, hair of prey and ample vegetal matter. A sasquatch has been observed to wipe itself with its hand and lick its fingers briefly, a decidedly simian gesture.
Growth and Reproduction:
Through several longitudinal studies and incidental observations of footprints of family groups, an approximate growth scale has been constructed. Sasquatch infants are born small ("like a 4 lb. preemie"), but are very fleet-footed at just a few years of age. The infant stays with the mother until puberty at age 10 or so, measuring about 6’ in height by then. Offspring seem to be spaced about 5 years apart, as judged by the admittedly small sample of grouped footprints; thus, a smaller infant will have the company of an older sibling for some years. A young male and one barely maturing female, as evidenced by immature breasts, about 7’ and 6’ tall, respectively, were seen keeping solicitous company.
Mating has been observed primarily between May and June, mostly between established pairs, and there is a suggestion of the birthing time lying between February and May. The duration of pregnancy (probably near 9 months) is partly related to the average weight of the species. Birth has been (very rarely) reported to occur in the squatting position, with other individuals nearby. The spacing of offspring is presumably governed by lowered fertility in consequence of demand feeding as well as infant mortality. On two occasions, females were observed carrying a dead infant.
A sasquatch can hypothetically be expected to have a mean life expectancy of about 35 years, a number derived from a relationship that exists in mammals between body mass and length of life. Old animals have been seen to show all the signs of wear, i.e., "snaggle teeth", "worn dreadlocks", as well as thinned hair, deeply wrinkled skin and open sores. A dead animal, if unattended, can be expected to be consumed rapidly by various carnivores, the bones by rodents, the hair by moths and any remainder would fall prey to the acidic environment of the forests with no remnant left visible under seasonal leaf and needle fall.
Most sasquatches are observed walking, and the observer almost invariably comments on their smooth, long and fluent stride ("like cross country skiing" or "like riding a bicycle") with wide arm swings. This effect is produced by their so-called compliant gait, meaning that they do not lock their knees during a step but keep them bent and thereby suppress the up-and-down oscillations of the upper body that is so characteristic of the human gait. Part of the sasquatch gait is a high foot rise in back during the swing phase and a longer bipedal contact with the ground. Step length averages 5’, an interval that is uncomfortable or impossible to duplicate or sustain for any distance by a would-be hoaxer. The gait has very little straddle, i.e., feet are put in line.
Running sasquatches constitute about 10% of all sightings. From observed walking cadence, step length and reports of animals running alongside moving vehicles, their top speed probably rivals that of a running horse (near 40 mph). The step length (measured from heel to heel) changes little whether the animal walks on the level or uphill. When standing still, the sasquatch will often remain totally immovable to escape detection, or at best slowly sway from side to side. They have been seen to assume the same sitting, squatting or lying positions that people do, frequently shown by worn areas on their hair coat. Quadrupedal gait is seen rarely in juveniles, although adults, on ascending dense slopes, frequently pull themselves up on adjacent trees with alternating arms.
In contrast to other higher primates, they seem to be powerful swimmers, as seen by their sporadic presence on otherwise uninhabitable small islands of the British Columbia coast and direct observations of animals in or under water, doing a frog-kick.
They sleep in mostly temporary shelters, padded with available vegetation. Caves and natural shelters seem to be used rarely. Padding consists of ferns, moss, bear grass, soft evergreen or rhododendron branches and leaves. Occasionally partial roofs are fashioned over their resting places from broken boughs. Once discovered, a nest is generally abandoned.
Their strength, especially upper body, is legendary. They seem to take "pleasure" in exercising this strength, for example, lifting basketball-sized rocks and throwing them in arcs to scare off intruders, lifting the edges of mobile homes, cars or trailers, lifting and throwing full 50 gal. drums (450 lbs.) or 240 lb rocks (weighed later), and spirally twisting the trunks of small trees, possibly as territorial or way markers.
Vocalization and Communication:
On the whole, the sasquatch proceeds in silence. Patterned, repetitive knocking sounds, produced with rocks or thick branches hit against other rocks or dead trees, are apparently used as long distance communication or deterrence.
Since they are a nocturnal species, they seem to rely on vocalizations more than diurnal primates. They are capable of a complex collection of sounds, starting with whistling (produced in the throat), through moans, howls, hoots, grunts, extremely deep growls, roars ("like a lion from the bottom of a 50-gallon drum"), and chilling screams, rising from a low roar over several seconds. More rarely, they produce melodic and imitative sounds or complex vocalizations that give the impression of a primitive language, even of a "woman talking" without the "words" ever being intelligible.
The disturbing nature of the loud screams seems to lie in their perceived near human quality, though too loud, enduring and powerful to be attributed to any possible "real" person. Giggling, laughing and crying sounds have been heard, sometimes in response to appropriate events.
There has been little opportunity to study facial expressions of the sasquatch, which are apt to be different from human ones and might be misinterpreted. But very close observers reported a comical look of surprise, when a sasquatch was suddenly encountered at close range, evident curiosity, as well as a look of "sheer terror" of a sasquatch caught between traffic on a dark, rainy highway.
Social Behavior and Curiosity:
Despite the rare observations of sasquatch groups, they appear to have more social cohesion than is generally assumed, moving at times in a group that suggests an extended family. Under undisturbed circumstances, the young play with each other and around and on the adults, and sometimes small groups forage together. Young ones are allowed to explore and be potentially visible in a context where the adults stay out of view. Adults seem remarkably indulgent of the infants, tolerating on one occasion an infant’s temper tantrum without intervention. In a totally relaxed setting, the adults spend substantial time grooming each other. On a few occasions, two or more sasquatches were observed wrestling with each other with intermissions for rest. It appears that older siblings, or at least juvenile animals, sometimes care for younger ones. The need for large amounts of food for any one animal may lead to a fusion - fission type of social organization, in which individuals separate to forage and come together for social activities.
The more frequent sightings of single males over females may be due to these animals probing the terrain for new niches, food sources or mates. They most probably form the majority of cases in which curiosity lures an animal into plain sight. Such curiosity-evoking events range from a lighted window in a secluded house to barns with animals in them, unusual animals in outside corrals, cars or equipment being repaired in a remote location, loud noises like chainsaws or explosions, and especially the screaming of children at play. Repeatedly, sasquatches have watched in these contexts, occasionally for hours, and even attempted interaction in the play of children. Sometimes, a sasquatch seen in the open, will retreat into cover, but remain to watch his observers from (incomplete) hiding.
Two noteworthy facets of sasquatch behavior have been observed repeatedly. They seem to be rather "orderly", stacking rocks in cairns during searching and not tearing human food caches or backpacks apart randomly in the manner of bears. Secondly, they have a tendency to leave "gifts" in the same location in which food was deposited for them. These can range from little piles of stones, a dog skull, handfuls of evergreen shoots, to small live animals, like a goat kid, several live kittens, a turtle, all taken from elsewhere, either as a "gift" or possibly as shared "food".
Aggressiveness and Displays:
Their responses to people vary from immediate withdrawal, the most common response, to lengthy inspection if no threat is perceived. They seem to react in a more relaxed fashion to women and children and avoid men, even in an accustomed setting, possibly as a function of human body language. All told, they are unaggressive to a fault, often leisurely retreating while being shot at. There is no documented case in the past 100 years of a sasquatch doing deliberate harm to a person.
Sasquatches seem to be indulgent of human children and small animals, like puppies, goat kids, and kittens. Several reports suggest that they may opportunistically retain small animals to use as live toys or pets as has been observed in bonobos. On the other hand, they reserve a special distaste for aggressive dogs, as do gorillas. They deal with these by slapping them (causing a 75 lb. dog to fly 40’) or flailing them against trees.
While scaring people out of their territory, they often run alongside them, though out of sight, and only desist when the terrain would expose them to view. This effort is sometimes preceded or accompanied by tree shaking, pushing over of trees or snags with appropriate noise, or simply by repeatedly breaking large sticks or branches for the sound effect. The apparent sounds of chest thumping have been heard, but the behavior has not been seen. All these aggressive displays are also found in the great apes.
It would be ideal for a human observer, in an unanticipated encounter, not to stare at the animal, but to sit on the ground, scratch him or herself, "groom" a companion, or "eat" anything within reach in order to convey as benign an impression as possible. In one instance, in which this behavior was followed, the sasquatch tarried long enough to be "talked" to.
This trait of the human species is largely absent in the sasquatch. As mentioned above, they use branches and rocks to hit trees or other rocks and they throw rocks and other objects out of hiding to scare people out of their territory (as do chimpanzees). Only one case has come to my attention of a boy being inadvertently hit by such a thrown rock (though not seriously injured). Rare reports indicate the possibility of the sasquatch using sticks to kill birds or mammals or to dig in the ground with them.
On one occasion they were observed to fashion "straws" out of the stalks of dead weeds and to drink through them out of a metal tub. They are undoubtedly observant of human appurtenances, such as guns or obvious cameras, and may then take extra care to avoid exposure.
Injury, Disease and Death:
Aside from eventual death after getting shot at or getting injured on highways, sasquatches probably die from dental disorders, infections, parasitic infestations and the rigors of exposure to the elements. From their prey, they would become parasitized with every type of intestinal worm as well as flukes. The absence of corpses is expected in the montane environment they inhabit, and it can profitably be compared to a similar absence of bears that died of natural causes. There are some minimal suggestions that sasquatches do not leave their dead unattended, a further factor that would confound such searches for a body.
The sasquatch is distributed across the North American continent, from high northern latitudes in Alaska and the Yukon to occasional sightings near river courses and forests in New Mexico and Texas. Their highest concentration appears to lie in Washington, Oregon and northern California, although the chances of potentially more sightings in the wilds of Canada are lessened by the lower human population density. Total numbers for the species in North America have been estimated by various approaches to be from a few thousand up to 10,000. By comparison, black bears number between 650,000 and 700,000 in North America.
Distribution of the sasquatch is presumably heavily influenced by the availability of water, prey, and of dense cover as afforded by northwestern rain forests, Sierra chaparral or the riparian margins of any bodies or courses of water. Since the latter provide secluded avenues throughout the continent, occasional sightings are explicable in relatively arid regions, though even there generally in the vicinity of stands of forest. Similarly, swamps and marshes seem to afford them the desired seclusion. Migration patterns, if they exist at all, have not been established other than possible vertical movement to escape severe winter conditions at higher altitude.
Sightings largely parallel the density of the human population, within reasonable limits. Daytime and nighttime sightings are almost equal in number despite the severely limited sight distance and coverage for observers at night, an indication of the much greater nocturnal activity of the sasquatch. Most sightings consist of chance encounters with single individuals, mostly males by default (identification made difficult by the hairiness of the species). It appears that the animals can be to a considerable degree habituated to the presence of a person. They are more likely to become "tamer" with a woman, over a long period, provided they are fed and not bothered, such as being illuminated at night. Under such long established circumstances, they allow themselves to be seen during their normal activities, even during daylight hours, but mostly at dawn. They are reported substantially less frequently during the late winter, but outright hibernation is not known to occur in primates, though torpor is a possibility. It is probable that in the winter the animals adopt a retiring life style with little activity in some protected niche, surviving on predation and some available vegetation.
Sasquatches of the size mentioned in this article would be expected to roam over a substantial territory to support themselves, possibly hundreds of square miles. Twisting off of small trees, nocturnal screaming and defecation in conspicuous spots have been suggested as possible territorial devices, all of these known from other great apes. In the predominantly forested terrain that they inhabit, footprints are seen with difficulty at best, and it would, at first sight, seem unlikely that they deliberately post or hide them.
Evolutionary discussion at this stage would consist of rather futile conjecture when a single good DNA analysis of a piece of skin or well-preserved blood could narrow the choices dramatically. The species is deviant from Homo sapiens by anatomy (crest, feet, musculature, body posture and gait), behavior (nocturnality, lack of compelling tool use, lack of language, lack of cultural traits) and sociology, traits that all argue against a close relationship to modern man. Its potential competitiveness for the same natural resources and space as that used by man may well have been contributory to the evolution of their nocturnal and elusive life style. The paleontological affiliation or identity with Gigantopithecus, as championed by the late Grover Krantz, has many aspects to recommend it.
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