In a North American jungle, a “massive primate skull” was discovered.(with video)
According to social media pictures he uploaded on Thursday, American YouTuber Coyote Peterson apparently discovered a “huge primate skull” in British Columbia (July 7).
In those tweets, Peterson stated that he had kept the find hidden from government authorities and anybody else who would “attempt to discontinue [sic] our film” of the dig “for several weeks.” According to experts, Peterson’s assertion is very questionable, because surreptitiously removing and exporting animal remains across national boundaries may be unlawful.
“I’m sure these photos will be removed… as will the video by government or state park employees… but the skull is protected,” the messages stated. “I’m not sure if it’s what you’re thinking… Yet I can’t explain how I ended up with a primate skull in the Pacific Northwest without wondering! “What do you think?” (Aside from humans, there are no giant apes in North America, and while legends of elusive forest-dwelling hominids like Bigfoot have survived for decades, there is no proof that such animals exist.) Peterson, widely known for his YouTube channel “Brave Wilderness” and for anchoring the Animal Planet series “Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild,” also posted that he’d post film of the skull on YouTube this weekend. Meanwhile, scientists have reacted to his supposed finding on Twitter, calling the claim into question and claiming that Peterson’s efforts — as outlined in his writings — may have crossed ethical and legal lines.
Yinan Wang, a graduate student in Johns Hopkins University’s Geospatial Intelligence program, geologist, and author of “The 50 State Fossils: A Guidebook for Aspiring Paleontologists” (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2018), observed that Peterson’s skull closely resembles a cast of a gorilla skull that can be purchased on AliExpress. Wang gives a side-by-side comparison of the AliExpress product and the pHos given by Peterson in the tweet.
“This is unmistakably a gorilla skull, as evidenced by several anatomical characteristics and confirmed by a number of specialists,” Darren Naish, a vertebrate paleontologist and scientific communicator in the United Kingdom, told Live Science via email. “It also appears to be the same as commercially available castings of a certain gorilla skull. ” Transporting “biological specimens” and wildlife products or parts — such as bones — into the United States typically requires permits from the United States Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and/or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (opens in new tab).
Additionally, “the transit of primate specimens is restricted by CITES,” according to Naish, an international convention intended at guaranteeing that international trading of wild animal and plant specimens does not endanger the existence of such species. “One could say, therefore, that implying that a human would locate a primate specimen in the wild and then simply transport it about is really irresponsible.”
According to Parks Canada, if Peterson discovered the skull in a Canadian national park, his activities would be prohibited under the Canada National Parks Act and National Park General Rules. According to these rules, it is illegal to remove any “natural items” from a park without a permission, and it is also illegal to smuggle wildlife, living or dead, from a park. In the event that the skull is considered a fossil, laws in British Columbia prohibit individuals from collecting vertebrate fossils and require that any “unusual or rare specimens” be reported to the Royal British Columbia Museum, a local museum, or the B.C. Fossil Management Office, according to the Government of British Columbia. In addition to the theoretical legal issues, the “conspiracy-mongering” rhetoric in Peterson’s postings, according to Naish, aggravates the matter.
“I’ve been told that Coyote Peterson does this type of thing pretty frequently as clickbait, and that this is a ploy done to promote a future video,” Naish explained. “Maybe this is supposed to be innocent amusement.”
Yet, once again, it’s not a good image in an age where anti-scientific emotions and conspiracy culture are a big problem. This stunt appears to have backfired.