Editor’s Note: This is a post by Bigfoot Evidence contributor, Damian Bravo, a Sasquatch believer. You can join Damian's group Sasquatch Lives? on Facebook and the group's official page at www.sasquatchlives.com.
As more theories evolve on what exactly Bigfoot/Sasquatch is without the physical study of a specimen, even I have made a hypothetical connection to Bigfoot with a creature sometimes confused by many people as a primate, the always smiling and gentle Sloth. The Sloth is a medium-sized mammal that belongs to the families of Megalonychidae (two-toed Sloth) and Bradypodidae (three-toed Sloth), which are classified into six different species. What if Bigfoot is not actually a hominoid species that branched off on its own evolutionary path as we think? Could Bigfoot, based on its amazing abilities sometimes described by witnesses, actually be the descendant of the giant ground Sloth?
It is amazing to find that the Sloth species, which shows primate like features, is a mammalian species in the same genius order of Armadillos and Anteaters and are not primates. They are part of the order Pilosa which sport a similar set of specialized claws. Sloths are arboreal (tree dwelling) residents of the jungles of Central and South America and are known for being slow-moving, and so given the name "sloths".
Sloths belong to the superorder Xenarthra, mammals that appeared approximately 60 million years ago, although some other scientific sources concluded the date at which sloths and related animals broke off from other placental mammals to be at about 100 million years ago. Some scientists think, based on the fossil records, early Xenarthrans were arboreal herbivores with sturdy spines, fused pelvises, stubby teeth and small brains.
You may be asking yourself right about now, what the connection is between Bigfoot and the extinct ground Sloth. First we need to understand what exactly the superorder Xenarthra is. This order shares many variables as those of other placental mammals. The name Xenarthra means "strange joints" and it was chosen because their vertebral joints have extra articulations, which other mammalian species do not have. It was also discovered that males from the order have internal reproductive organs, which are placed between the bladder and the rectum. It’s also interesting (and I know cryptozoologist Loren Coleman will love this part) that in all cases I know of, no one has ever reported seeing the genitals of a Bigfoot. Mr. Coleman if you have heard of a report, please let me know so I can write about that story. The superorder Xenarthrans also shows the lowest metabolic rates among this subclass of mammals.
In the article I wrote on “The Physical Body of Bigfoot”, I talked about how could such a creature survive and sustain its self in the vast wilderness of North America. Let’s take a look at a modern example of the extinct giant ground Sloth. The Sloth’s of today are amazing mammalians; the adaptions they have developed through evolution have given them the ability to survive in an environment which can sometimes lack the necessary nutrition to survive for many animals.
Fur and the Symbiotic relationship
One amazing characteristic of the Sloth that could be found on Bigfoot if we ever have a captured specimen might be the symbiotic relationship they have on their fur. The fur hosts two species of symbiotic cyanobacteria and come in a variety of colors and length just like the typical descriptions Bigfoot, which help protect the sloth from the elements and provide camouflage. Because of the cyanobacteria, sloth fur is a small ecosystem of its own, hosting many species of non-parasitic insects. Sloths have short, flat heads, big eyes, a short snout, long legs, and tiny ears. Some Sloths even have stubby tails (6–7 cm long), which is not found in all species. If Bigfoot roams the wilderness of North America, which can have terrible swarms of nats, horseflies and other annoying or parasitic insects, having such fur could also be an advantage at times.
A Stomach made for Survival
Sloths are folivores, because the bulk of their diet consists of buds, tender shoots, and leaves, mainly of Cecropia trees of which some species are highly toxic. Some Sloths are documented as eating insects, small reptiles, and birds as a supplement to their diet and have made extraordinary adaptations to an arboreal lifestyle. Sloths main food source are leaves, which provide very little nutrition and do not digest easily. Through evolution Sloths have developed large, specialized, slow-acting stomachs with multiple compartments in which symbiotic bacteria break down the leaves, just like the bacteria in their fur protect them from the elements. It is amazing that two-thirds of a sloth's body-weight consists of the contents of its stomach and the digestive process can take a month or more to complete.
Now as of yet, no scientific information is available that would suggest that Bigfoot could have such a fantastic stomach. Yet if Bigfoot is actually roaming the wilderness of North America, such a stomach would give it the ability to not have to hunt as often as other mammals. So could this be the reason we have so little evidence of Bigfoot hunting its prey? Could it be that once Bigfoot eats his prey he has no need to feed himself for a longer period of time, maybe not as long as the modern day Sloth but possibly for weeks?
Why Bigfoots walk instead of run
I sometimes wondered why in the Patterson/Gimlin film the female Bigfoot did not run away when Patterson started chasing after her and fell. Not worrying about the typical conspiracy theories that have not as yet disproven the validity of the creature on film, in almost every encounter with Bigfoot the creature just walks away. Sloths have such a slow metabolism that any type of high energetic movements would cause them to expend too much energy and bring them to exhaustion very quickly. Could this be the reason that Bigfoot is rarely seen running or using great bursts of energy by most eyewitnesses? Could his metabolism be an adaptation necessary to survive in an environment that at times will not produce the needed nutrients that such a large animal may require? If Bigfoot is such a large creature, then the use of such physicality would expend too much energy and would require a constant diet. Keep in mind that the typical descriptions of Bigfoot are of a bipedal human like creature. If we look at the sloth, it too shows physical similarities to the hominoid species, yet with some very distinctive features, like its toes and its cranial morphology.
I already know that many will think my hypothesis is crazy and that in no way did Bigfoot come from an extinct creature called the giant ground Sloth, but what true evidence do we have that bigfoot is a sub-species of hominid? Without this physical body, we cannot just stick to or assume that we are looking at a species that is in this genius. Many hypotheses are being investigated in a fossil record that lacks the remains of and exact picture of how we came to be what we are. Some scientists may think about how a non-scientist like me, could come up with a hypothesis that a creature like the extinct ground Sloth could evolve and possibly even look like primate. Every day, evidence is being found that some species have taken characteristics of other mammals while evolving separate from one another in different continents.
Some may even argue that the fossil record does not show evidence of such a fantastical event in evolution occurring. It is the scientific belief that the large mega fauna became totally extinct in the content of North America. We cannot assume that this extinction was effective since new species and species that were assumed to be extinct have been found around the world. Should we just assume that because a creature shows the typical hominoid characteristics, it automatically has to be related to a species we know about?
A well-known mass extinction of mega fauna in North America and other continents, however, this extinction pulse near the end of the Pleistocene was just one of a series of mega faunal extinction pulses that have occurred during the last 50,000 years over much of the Earth. In North America this extinction of the mega fauna occurred around 13,000 years ago.
It is well known that mass extinctions of mega fauna have occurred many times in the past, even as recently as 13,000 years ago. If certain mammalians survived such an event, it means that their evolutions and adaptions to the changing environment gave them the edge to survive those events. If Bigfoot is truly roaming North America, his key to survival must have been the ability to evolve very specific traits only found in this possible species. The modern Sloths adaptions could be a view of how Bigfoot could and has survived.
Contributing writer for: