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Episode Notes for
Bigfoot DNA

Todd Disotell

NYU Professor, Dr. Todd Disotell

Dr. Todd Disotell joined us for our first MonsterTalk episode to discuss his various appearances on cryptozoology television shows as the DNA expert. He holds a PhD from Harvard, and a BA from Cornell. Dr. Disotell is currently teaching at NYU and his expertise is in primate evolution. His full professional biographical information can be found on his NYU webpage.

Dr. Disotell’s background in primate studies made him a logical choice for cryptid-TV, though we noticed his screen time was usually short and all of his analysis thus far has turned up no evidence of an unknown ape.

His appearance on the television show Monster Quest was somewhat controversial among Bigfoot enthusiasts in that after his lab found no DNA, a second lab’s results were characterized by The History Channel as suggestive of “non human primate” DNA. (See clip below) In our interview with Dr. Disotell we discuss the Monster Quest claim and get his surprising take on the second lab’s findings.

Questions in this episode include:

  • How did Todd get involved in cryptid DNA analysis?
  • How does DNA get culled from contaminants?
  • What have Todd’s findings been so far?
  • What was his take on the DNA from the Monster Quest “Sasquatch Attack” episode?
  • What would Bigfoot DNA actually look like?
  • How big was Giganto and what does a primatologist think of the “Giganto Hypothesis” to explain Bigfoot?
  • What does “unknown” mean in DNA analysis?
  • What about grant money for Bigfoot research?

Episode Transcript

Read a complete transcript of this episode

The views expressed on this program are not necessarily the views of the Skeptics Society or Skeptic magazine.

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