Mystery Science

Debunked: Coyote Peterson’s “Primate Skull” Unmasked as Fake!

The purported discovery of a “large primate skull” in British Columbia by American YouTuber Coyote Peterson has sparked controversy and skepticism among experts. Peterson claimed to have concealed the discovery for weeks to prevent government intervention and hinted at the possibility of the skull being linked to elusive forest-dwelling hominids like Bigfoot. However, experts have questioned the credibility of Peterson’s claim and raised concerns about the legality and ethics of his actions.

Peterson, known for his YouTube channel “Brave Wilderness” and hosting “Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild” on Animal Planet, announced his alleged discovery on social media. He teased the release of footage showcasing the skull on YouTube, prompting reactions from scientists on Twitter who questioned the authenticity of the claim and highlighted potential legal ramifications.

Science consultant Jonathan Kolby cautioned against smuggling primate specimens into the United States, even if found in the wild, as it is illegal. Geospatial intelligence graduate student Yinan Wang pointed out similarities between Peterson’s skull and a commercially available gorilla skull cast, casting doubt on its authenticity.

Vertebrate paleontologist Darren Naish confirmed that the skull closely resembled a specific gorilla skull cast and dismissed the notion of it being a genuine unknown primate skull. He emphasized that moving primate specimens without proper permits is irresponsible and potentially illegal under international treaties and national regulations.

Peterson’s posts suggested that he had transported the skull across the U.S.-Canadian border, raising further legal concerns. Transporting biological specimens and wildlife products typically requires permits from various U.S. agencies, while international trade of wild animal specimens is regulated by CITES.

If the skull were found in a Canadian national park, Peterson’s actions would violate Canada’s National Parks Act and regulations prohibiting the removal of natural objects without permits. Additionally, British Columbia laws forbid the collection of vertebrate fossils without reporting them to relevant authorities.

Naish criticized Peterson’s posts for perpetuating conspiracy theories and using sensational language for clickbait. He suggested that such actions could fuel anti-scientific sentiments and conspiracy culture, undermining public trust in scientific inquiry.

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