JOHOR BARU: The Johor Bigfoot could be a Homo erectus that had undergone "reverse evolution".
Homo erectus ("upright man") is a hominid species that is believed to be an ancestor of modern humans. It is a large-brained species which lived from approximately two million to around 400,000 years ago.
Sean Ang, a scientist from Kuala Lumpur who had analysed the prehistoric Perak Man excavated by Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1994, said based on evidence compiled about the creature by biodiversity researcher Vincent Chow, he thought the creature might have been in existence for more than 65,000 years.
"I concur with Chow’s findings that this could be an unknown species that went through reverse evolution to end up as a less intelligent creature than Peking Man, who could use fire and tools.
"Reverse evolution can take place when there is an abundance of food and the species group is small and totally isolated, as in the case of the Johor Bigfoot," said Ang, who holds a masters degree in palaeoanthropology from Sheffield University in England.
Ang was invited by Chow to discuss evidence that the latter had compiled, including clear photographs of footprints.
Acknowledging that the evidence was "believable", Ang said scientists were excited about the Johor Bigfoot as they would have a chance to come face-to-face with a living species of prehistoric man.
Ang, who used to work at the National Museum, said he had decided to team up with Chow to write a research paper on the Johor Bigfoot, for publication in a scientific journal for the benefit of other researchers.
"At present there is a lot of confusion among Bigfoot researchers all over the world as there are new hypotheses every other day.
"There is also no clear photograph or evidence to guide researchers."
Meanwhile, Chow said the involvement of Ang, who had studied fossil collections of prehistoric man in England and Japan, would enable a pro-scientific approach in their probe into the existence of the Johor Bigfoot.
He said it was time that the Johor Bigfoot phenomenon, which had so far been based on stories of sightings by villagers and Orang Asli, was viewed through the eyes of specialists.