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A long time ago a group of proto-giants moved high up into a the Sodo-Himalayas. Yetis commonly live up on high mountain plains some of basic characteristics of Yetis are:

  • are as intelligent as humans
  • are 286.5cm (9.4ft) tall and weigh 224kg
  • have large broad noses
  • Are mostly covered in a thick, coarse white hair. Like that of wolverines
  • are omnivores just like humans but do have a slightly more robust stomach

now given these characteristics what the highest altitude a group of yetis could substantially live and what adaptions would they need to do so?

NOTE: magic does not exist in my story

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    $\begingroup$ What do they eat? That's a lot of body mass to sustain and haul around. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 11 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime their omnivores just like humans but do have a more robust stomach $\endgroup$ – icewar1908 Feb 11 at 9:59
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There's not a whole lot to eat at high altitude. Wild yaks are probably representative of the limits of grazing animals in the Himalaya, and can be found between about 3000m and 5500m. You can find domestic yak a little way below this, but not much further as their adaptations to cold weather and high altitude make lower altitudes unpleasant for them. They like ambient temperatures no higher than 15 degrees.

Snow leopards are probably representative of predator species, and can be found over a slightly larger altitude range... perhaps 2700m to 6000m in summer, but like yaks they prefer to live above the tree line. Unlike yaks they do sometimes visit lower altitude, as low as 1200m in winter when they move down into the forests when the weather makes higher altitudes uninhabitable.

Clearly an active mammal can live at very high altitudes, even though the effective oxygen percentage up there is about ten percent (presumably thet number was generated from the actual partial pressue or O2 up there, but I don't have those figures or the conversion formula to hand). The issue is not so much surviving up there as thriving... it is easy to burn a lot of calories staying warm and moving around on steep, broken mountainsides, so I doubt many things will be staying up as far as 5-6000m for extended periods of time.

I don't think there's much scope for omnivory that far up. You either graze or browse on comparatively low quality plants, or you eat the things that do. I suspect you have to drop down to well below the treeline to make it practical to live omnivorously. The altitude of the Himalayan treeline varies considerably (ranging from 3200-4900m), so I'd expect your yetis to be mostly found below 3000m unless they're largely predatory for at least part of the year, or they're grazing animals which seems unlikely given your description.

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They raid the depths.

Your yetis must be mobile. Fortunately a hominid body plan lends itself to this. Like sperm whales or elephant seals that inhabit the sunny surface but dive deep to feed, in season your yetis descend from their heights to raid the fertile lowlands.

They will want to gorge and put on fat, and carry off calorie rich foodstuffs which means they are carnivores. They have to be able to get down there and then get back home before the weather is too hot.

Your yetis also need to be like bears. Yeti raiding season is probably a short period corresponding with winter - it sucks up high where the yetis usually live but is rainy and cool at lower altitude so a good time for yetis to visit. They eat as much as they can hold and carry off what they can back to their mountain retreats. They get really fat. Fat yetis lie around and do not do much much during the summer, living off their reserves, mating and singing yeti songs about getting really fat and mating.

There is no reason for anything that lives in the lowlands to venture up where the yetis live. There is nothing up there but yetis. So nothing much bothers the yetis unless humans get pissed off and come looking for a fight.

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The eagles of the cryptozoological world, they can live in remote caves way up in the most inaccessible peaks (I'm assuming agile climbers because Darwin) and remain unseen by humans who are the one danger. They can then sneak (or snowboard) down to lower altitudes at night or in bad weather, gorge themselves on accessible foodstuffs -- I suspect they're basically scavengers and raid waste tips like bears, wild pigs etc -- and then ascend to their caves to sleep it off for a few days.

Like humans, there's no reason to suppose they cannot survive at the highest altitudes. If humans can stand on Everest without oxygen, so can these guys.

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