Space City Skeptics

The Official Blog of the Houston Skeptic Society

The Grey-faced Sengi and what it means for the existence of bigfoot

with 7 comments

grey-faced-sengi

Grey-faced Sengi

Recently, Galen Rathbun and Francesco Rovero discovered a new species of mammal in the mountains of Tanzania.  The new species is a member of the elephant shrew group and is called the grey-faced sengi (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis)  It is a relatively small animal (<1kg) that lives on the forest floor.  There are only two known small populations in the world.

The grey-faced sengi was initially discovered using camera traps in 2005.  Rathbun and Rovero subsequently traveled to some very remote mountain tops in Tanzania to study the animals.  During a two-week excursion, they were able to find, study, and capture several specimens.

Does this discovery lead to an increased possibility that there is a sasquatch lurking around the forest of North America?  Although the grey-faced sengi is a relatively large animal to have been just discovered, it is a great deal smaller than bigfoot.  Yet, this animal was easily observed in a camera trap.  It seems much more likely that a large animal such as bigfoot would be seen in these traps quite frequently, if it exists.  The ease at which the scientists were able to find the new animal also is a strike against the existence of bigfoot.  The expedition to the mountains of Tanzania only lasted two weeks.  Even in this short period of time, they were able to find and catch many examples of the sengi.  People have been looking for bigfoot for at least the last 50 years and they still haven’t found any solid evidence.

The comparison of the search for bigfoot with the search and subsequent finding of the grey-faced sengi helps to illustrate the improbability of the existence of bigfoot.  Together with the total lack of conclusive evidence (like droppings, fur, remains, heat signatures) despite their size and the necessary large breeding population brings the odds of their existence to nearly zero.  However, no one can conclusively say that something does not exist, but we don’t know if the invisible pink unicorn exists either.

For an audio interview with Galen Rathbun about the discovery, listen to the Are We Alone podcast (towards the end, but the whole episode is good)

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Written by bort901

February 4, 2009 at 8:53 am

Posted in Cryptozoology

Tagged with ,

7 Responses

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  1. But you can’t prove that there isn’t a bigfoot!

    skepticpedi

    February 4, 2009 at 6:51 pm

  2. True, but you also can’t prove that everything in the universe wasn’t just created 5 minutes ago to look like it is 13.7 billion years old.

    bort901

    February 6, 2009 at 9:55 am

  3. Well, maybe you can’t.

    skepticpedi

    February 6, 2009 at 6:07 pm

  4. True, we’ve never been able to obtain evidence of Bigfoot’s existence through the various methods you describe, which leads to one inescapable conclusion . . . .

    Bigfoot is a ninja.

    Mark

    February 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm

  5. Agreed.

    skepticpedi

    February 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm

  6. Well, where is your jumping for joy over the judge’s ruling on the vaccine/autism NON-link? Hooray – a judge actually looked at the evidence . . . or rather, the lack thereof. I think the lawyer who started this whole thing and falsified the evidence should be prosecuted for putting so many families through this nonsense, and keeping kids from being vaccinated in the process.

    Patsye

    February 17, 2009 at 12:48 am

  7. I am extremely excited. At work I cheered when I found out, which led to a number of odd looks. I’ve been remiss in posting lately secondary to illness and job hunting. Both issues are now resolved so I am ready to get back into blogging.

    skepticpedi

    February 17, 2009 at 12:19 pm


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