LONDON (AP) — Could the Abominable Snowman be a bear?
A British geneticist says DNA analysis suggests the Yeti, the elusive ape-like creature of the Himalayas, may be the descendant of a polar bear that roamed the peaks tens of thousands of years ago.
Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes compared hair samples taken from two unidentified Himalayan animals to a database of animal genomes.
He says they shared a genetic fingerprint with an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Norway that is at least 40,000 years old.
Sykes says the evidence suggests the mysterious creature may be a hitherto undiscovered cross between polar bears and brown bears.
Tom Gilbert, professor of paleogenomics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, says Sykes' conclusion is a "reasonable explanation" for Yeti sightings.