"Bigfoot" is a term that is applied in two ways. In its widest sense, it is applied to every type of hairy humanoid from all over the world, regardless of that hairy humanoid's characteristics. In other words, it is a catch-all category that is applied to every variety of legendary ape-man by those who don't know better.
The standard Bigfoot has a rather consistent appearance. Adults are described as six to nine feet tall, heavily built, and muscular, with large feet and a sagittal crest on top of the head, giving the head a somewhat pointed, elongated look, like a bullet. The forehead itself is generally sloping, suggesting a brain that has more in common with apes (or very primitive men) than modern humans. The entire body is covered with thick, shaggy fur of about the same length, without longer hair on the head. The body shape is often compared to a professional football player or a bodybuilder, with large muscles and a solid physique. Footprints measure fifteen inches long on average, with five toes. Behavior towards humans can be aggressive, but is seldom anything worse than a threat display.
The creatures are often sighted in family groups, with arrangements that would suggest they seem to follow the human rule of pair-bonding with one male and one female staying together to raise their young. They seldom use tools more sophisticated than a branch, do not wear clothing, and cannot speak, although they have a wide variety of calls that might count as language to another Bigfoot. They seem to be highly nomadic, occasionally sheltering in caves, but seeming to not stay in one area longer than a night or two. Those who believe in them think that their diet is probably mostly plant food such as tender leaves and acorns, along with some meat sources such as snails, frogs and scavenged deer carcasses.
This standard Bigfoot is not the only hairy humanoid to be reported from the Pacific Northwest of North America. Other beings that do not fit the standard model are also sighted, including true giants, marked hominids and many types of BHMs (big hairy monsters) of a decidedly paranormal character.
In recent years, the efforts of serious cryptozoologists to make the discipline sound more respectable has led many to discard the term "Bigfoot" as unscientific, replacing it with sasquatch. Some other researchers use "Bigfoot" for standard Bigfoot reports from the Pacific Northwest and reserve "sasquatch" for the Canadian Bigfoot. However, in general the two terms can be used interchangably.
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