The legendary Bigfoot is a human relative that arose some 15,000 years ago, a new five-year DNA study has claimed.
The study conducted by a team of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology, led by Texan researcher Dr Melba S Ketchum sequenced three complete Bigfoot nuclear genomes and determined the species is a human hybrid, her firm, DNA Diagnostics said in a statement.
Ketchum suggested that Bigfoot or Sasquatch mated with modern human females that resulted in hairy hominin hybrids, but the scientific community is dubious about her claim, LiveScience reported.
"A team of scientists can verify that their five-year long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called 'Bigfoot' or 'Sasquatch', living in North America," the statement said.
"Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilised next generation sequencing to obtain three whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples," Ketchum said.
"The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species," she said in the statement.
"Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens," she said.
"Hominins are members of the taxonomic grouping Hominini, which includes all members of the genus Homo. Genetic testing has already ruled out Homo neanderthalis and the Denisova hominin as contributors to Sasquatch mtDNA or nuDNA," she added.
"The male progenitor that contributed the unknown sequence to this hybrid is unique as its DNA is more distantly removed from humans than other recently discovered hominins like the Denisovan individual," explained Ketchum.
Ketchum's research has not appeared in any peer-reviewed scientific journal, and there's no indication when that might happen, LiveScience said.
Ketchum has also called on public officials and law enforcement to immediately recognise the Sasquatch as an indigenous people.
"Genetically, the Sasquatch are a human hybrid with unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry.
Government at all levels must recognise them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a 'license' to hunt, trap, or kill them," she said.