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DNA links mysterious Yeti to ancient polar bear

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Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:34 am | Updated: 9:08 pm, Wed Dec 11, 2013.

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.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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