By Steven McKenzie
A theory that the mythical yeti is a rare polar bear-brown bear hybrid animal has been challenged.
Last year, Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes revealed the results of DNA tests on hairs said to be from the Abominable Snowman.
The tests matched the samples with the DNA of an ancient polar bear.
But two other scientists have said re-analysis of the same data shows the hairs belong to the Himalayan bear, a sub-species of the brown bear.
The results of the new research by Ceiridwen Edwards and Ross Barnett have been published in the Royal Society journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Among Dr Edwards’ previous work was an attempt to carry out DNA analysis of a sample taken from bones of a polar bear washed into caves in north west Scotland 18,000 years ago.
According to legend, the yeti is a large and elusive ape-like beast.
For many years experts have been seeking a scientific explanation for the Abominable Snowman.
Prof Sykes, along with other genetics experts, conducted DNA tests on hairs from two unidentified animals, one from Ladakh – in northern India on the west of the Himalayas – and the other from Bhutan, 800 miles (1,285km) further east.
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