Krao -or- Krao Moniek
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Posted 21 December 2014 - 11:10 PM
The Krao photo gallery
Some rare Krao's photographs and related pictures were found in the Web. They may be interesting to reader, because feature some peculiarities of her.
Fig. 10. Krao and Farini in a studio.
Fig. 11. Handbills to shows with Krao presentations.
Fig. 12. Krao's parents in pamphlet from Guildhall Library, London (Kember 2007)
Let us pay attention that hair on the father's head in this picture differs from that in Fig.1. It is possible, that an artist depicted on his head longer hair because he knew and was impressed by photographs of "The sacred hairy family of Burma" (Fig. 8 and 9).
Fig. 13. Krao in youth, photos in a studio.
Fig. 14. Krao with a pet and with a book.
Fig. 15. Krao was fond of animals.
Krao had very long head hair. Female hominoids with very long hair were often seen in the Northern Caucasus (women-almasty) and in forest regions of Eastern Europe.
On possible place of Krao's tribe in Homo taxonomy
At a glance, the question about taxonomy of Krao and her tribe (population) is not valid. The public opinion with the political correctness excludes such statement or question as "Whether the modern mankind includes different species or subspecies Homo?" from the very beginning. But some human races differ really to a degree that they without hesitation would be named as different species if they consist a nonhuman beings. By the way, Carl Linnaeus in his first editions of "Systema Naturae" divided all mankind initially into four species named after continents, and then added to them two more species ― Bushmen and savage people. Later this classification was removed from "Systema…". An alternative approach is applied to Homo sapiens in other respects ― for example, Homo sapiens have no a holotype, though some proposals arose from time to time to allocate concrete persons as well. Nobody can decide ― what a person?
The other old question is ―"Whether the dividing line between the humans and animals is commonly indicated?". Till now it is considered that the line is ability to speak. This point of view was supported by philosopher and the first theorist in researches of living hominoids B.F.Porshnev. It was found out that human has special morphological forms in his brain controlling speech pronunciation and understanding of speech. Thus, definition of the human-animal line by language ability is not pure formalistic (pronouncing and understanding of sounds which have meaning), but also by existence of the organs that are absent in close primates ― Broca's and Wernicke's areas, etc. Recent researchers show similar formations in some primate's brains but they react differently from those of human.
From this point of view a question how to determine Krao, disappears as undisputable ― Krao perfectly spoke in several languages. She said also that her tribe used a language, whereas with very small dictionary. Large or small ― this has no significance taxonomy. I.e., Krao undeniably was Homo sapiens.
On the other hand, Krao demonstrated many features which are absent among common people. These Krao's morphological features, being examined separately, evolve analogies with various primates.
Her plausible feet linked her to hominoids in general. Thirteen chest vertebras and ribs showed links to chimpanzee or gorilla. The form of her skull related in some degree to orangutan. Teeth associated with those of chimpanzee. Pouches in her mouth are atavistic even among living anthropoids. Long hair on her head was like to those of humans, but also to hominoids in the Central and Eastern Europe and to Caucasian almasty. Her straight gait was of a proud woman. Her chin was clearly seen on her photographs. Her large beard of female is not known yet in any of modern human races or tribes.
Examinations of footprints made by North American hominoids Sasquatches (Krantz 1992, Meldrum 2006, 2007) showed that their feet had the ability to turn closely to shin. The authors explained that these peculiarities are result of huge body mass of the hominoids which causes extra tension in low part of their legs and feet.
It seems possible now that there is some other explanation. Case of Krao that had size of common people, when the family was captured threw some new light on the problem. Such feet permit to press them on vertical trunks of trees instead holding the legs fast around trunks. The same ability makes safer movements in abrupt rocks. So, these peculiarities represent the fact that some hominoids with flexible feet did not completely transform to foot morphology of long-distance terrestrial runner, as represented by humans but hold some previous niche.
Recent attention to footprints of extinct hominoids brought interesting facts about gait of the creatures. Anthropologist Crompton (2008) put forward the hypothesis that our ancestors walked vertically on a terrestrial surface like people, and moved like apes in trees, clasping branches by feet. G.Shelley's observations and narrations of locals showed that members of Krao's tribe used similar way of movements. Crao's feet morphologically allowed her to move alike.
This extensive set of features deviating outside the normal human ranges, but inherent in hominoids, showed that Krao was not an ugly human being with atavistichypertrichosis, but another, well balanced being very close to human. But her main feature ― her intellect which had not less capacity than human.
Of course, it seems possible, following formal taxonomy guides, to present Krao as a holotype of a new species in genus Homo, or subspecies in Homo sapiens or Homo neanderthalensis. For example (fantasy!), new subspecies Homo neanderthalensis laosensis nov subsp (the Laotian Neanderthal). But relation of any boundary being to human involves numerous legal, ethical, moral, and other problems and questions, among them: Which of hominoids can (should) be classified as people, and which should not? There is no answer. Whereas genetic compatibility of people and members of Krao's tribe had been shown definitely, it may be case of interspecific hybridization with non sterile offsprings.
Certainly, modern methods of research, first of all genetic ones, provide a possibility to answer the questions more definitely. Apparently, Krao felt shame of her body and asked to cremate her after death, so that nobody could see it. But it was not fulfilled. She was buried in a usual grave on the known cemetery. In the interests of science, it seems necessary to find and investigate her remains.
To summarize the discussion at such uncertain view point on this problem, we consider ― the main attention now should be paid to protection and conservation of all still living hominoids and their habitat.
I thank Ilya Treiger and Natalie Mangenan for the help in search of relevant materials and discussion of the problem, Igor Burtsev for the help in publication, and also authors of the photographs and those who posted them in Internet for free access.
Bock C., 1883 'Krao', a living specimen of Darwin's 'Missing link': Discovered in Laos by the distinguished traveller, Carl Bock, and now exhibiting at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster, in Mr. Farini's new Lecture Room. Aubert's steam printing works, pp 20
Crawfurd J., 1829, Journal of an embassy to the court of Ava in 1927, London
Crompton R.H., Vereecke E.E., Thorpe S.K.S. 2008 Locomotion and posture from the common hominoid ancestor to fully modern hominins, with special reference to the last common panin/hominin ancestor. Proceedings Paper, Symposium on Human Evolution, 2007, Oxford, England, St Annes Coll Journal of Anatomy, V. 212, Iss 4, pp 501-543
Keane A.H., 1883. Krao, the “Human Monkey”. Nature 27: pp 245-246 (11 January)
Krantz G.S., 1992. Big footprints: a scientific inquiry into reality of sasquatch. Johnson Printing Co., Boulder, Colorado.
Meldrum J., 2006. Sasquatch: Legend meets science. NY.
Meldrum J., 2007. Ichnotaxonomy of giant hominoid tracks in North America. . In: Cenozoic Vertebrate Tracks and Traces. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin 42.
Resident A., 1883. Letters to Editor. Nature 27: 579-580 (19 April)
Yule H., 1858. A narrative of the mission sent by the governor-general of India to the court of Ava in 1855, with notices of the country, government, and people. London.
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When this book has been already transferred to a publishing house, I have encountered in the Internet to an interesting picture. The hairy child shown in the photograph surprisingly looks like to Krao in her childhood. Considering the details and manner of the shooting, the picture was made recently. Apparently, it was a little girl. She was certainly not Krao as she was covered by much thick hair than was shown in Krao's pictures. There was no essential information on origin and further life of the girl.
Fig. 16. The photo of a girl of unknown origin that looks like Krao
The features that Professor Shelly underlined in Krao are visible at this girl. Her forehead is covered by the specific short thick hair which is extended down to eyebrows. The longer hair grows above it, on other part of her head. On the shoulder hair is directed upwards. On her back hair is directed to the middle of spine. There they will form a future mane which is placed from nape down along spine. Shelly saw such at father and mother of Krao. The girl had round eyes also marked by observers at Krao. On a child's face the first traces of growing beard are appeared. Certainly, it is necessary to undertake all efforts to find this child or her as adult. This photo permits to suggest that the Krao tribe may still exist in remote jungles and its representatives from time to time appear among peoples.
The man shown in the following picture is widely known, and sets of his photos are posted in the Internet. His name is Yu Zhenhuan, he lives in China. In 2002 he got a record in "Guinness Book of Records" as the hairiest person in the world.
Fig.17. The hairy man Yu Zhenhuan
I previously considered him as one of well known cases of hypertrichosis, until I saw his teeth in an other picture. They are very similar to teeth of Krao. There are also some other coincidences with Krao, for example, unusually wide for the Chinese people nose at his portrait.
Fig.18. The teeth of Yu Zhenhuan
This raises the question as to whether it is possible case of Krao-man who have been brought up among people? Even preliminary survey would be useful to define quantity of his ribs and corresponding vertebras, evaluate flexibility of joints in hands and feet, etc. Or may he be a hybrid similar to members of "sacred family of Burma"? The matter is that some understanding of this problem should be achieved to start such, and also genetic, investigations.
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