DISCLAIMER: This is not a blog to debate the existence (or question thereof) of the anomalous being commonly referred to as “BIGFOOT”.
Of all the reported eyewitness accounts of Bigfoot throughout the years, one detail—albeit quite possibly the most important detail for determining its ultimate phylogeny—remains in dispute. I am speaking of the nose. Witnesses from every walk of life, claiming to have seen a Sasquatch up close, have described them with either a very human-like nose, while others have emphatically stated they saw a wide, flat, ape-like nose.
Some anthropologists believe it’s the evolution of the nose, from the flat, open-face nostrils of primates to the protruding, downward-facing proboscis of modern humans, which allowed our ancient ancestors to leave the African savannahs and move out to the rest of the world. It’s suggested that a protruding nose actually maintains moisture, thus keeping the brain cooler for longer journeys previously impossible by hominoid species. As the nose is made up of cartilage and soft tissues, it doesn’t fossilize, so there’s no way to know for certain how or where the modern human-type nose evolved.
Artist John Gurche, best known for his photo-realistic paintings of prehistoric life researched the evolution of the nose with several paleontologists and applied their best theories to his reproductions of early hominids such as Homo erectus. Anthropologist Grover Krantz, a well-known supporter of the existence of Bigfoot who has proffered the Giganotpithecus theory for the identity of the Sasquatch, has put forth the same idea regarding the nose for Bigfoot. He believed when discovered it will be found to have a protruding nose. If these animals do exist and in as far-reaching a range as reported, then there may be something to the protruding nose theory.
What kind of nose though? Ancient Native American rock and wood carvings depicting ape-like animals (from a time when such people should have had zero knowledge of the existence of apes, let alone what one might look like) always depict them with upturned, open nostrils.
In his book titled The Hoopa Project (Hancock House, 2008), author David Paulides interviewed multiple eye-witnesses of the Hoopa Indian Nation in Northwest California. He also had many of the witnesses sit down with artist Harvey Pratt, a forensic artist who works with witnesses to attain images of suspected criminals. The final depictions of the Sasquatch looked very close to modern human beings. So much so, one in particular reminded me a great deal of George Carlin.
Illustrations depicting details of the famous Patterson-Gimlin specimen show a human nose. However, in 2002, at the second annual Texas Bigfoot Conference, MK Davis, in his early analyses of the film showed frames of the animal in profile, showing very clearly the creature known as “Patty” had a flat face, with no evidence of a protruding nose.
Clearly, we are at odds with what may the most significant detail of this anomalous creature’s anatomy, at least until a specimen is brought in as final proof.