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Friday, November 25, 2022

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Gigantopithecus Part 1

This massive creature existed 9 million years ago to as recent as 100,000 years ago. Teeth and jawbones have been found primarily in China, India and Vietnam. Fossil records indicate it was the largest known primate that ever lived. 9.8 ft tall, 1190 to 1320 lbs. Some disagree asserting that Gigantopithecus was smaller - around 5.7 ft and 400-600 lbs. These size differences can perhaps be explained by looking at the different species.

There have been  three extinct species of Gigantopithecus identified: G. blacki, G. bilasparensis, and G. giganteus. Some sources state that G. bilasparensis and G. giganteus are the same creature.

G. blacki appears to have lived in China, Vietnam and Indonesia. He was a contemporary of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) for tens of thousands of years and co-existed with Homo erectus, who preceded the appearance of H. sapiens).

In the past G. blacki was thought to be closely related to early hominins, esp. to Australopithecus on the basis of the molar evidence. This is now regarded as a result of convergent evolution. ( The process by which an interbreeding population or species diverges into two or more descendant species, resulting in once similar or related species to become more and more dissimilar.)

Some sources say that this is the same species as G. giganteus, with title of G. giganteus being the older name and should be  the accepted name.  In any case, remains of G. giganteus predate G. blacki and is considered to extend the existence of Gigantopithecus further back than was first theorized.

G. giganteus lived roughly 5 million years before G. blacki. He is a separate species with extremely fragmentary remains in India and China. He was thought to be half the size of G. blacki and to be a large, ground-dwelling herbivore that ate primarily bamboo and foliage.

As there have been no pelvic or leg bones found, there is no way to know for sure if gigantopithecus walked on all fours or bipedal. Dominent view is that he walked on all fours. Grover Krantz was one man who supported the belief that he was bipedal based on the jawbone remains found. He felt the shape of the jawbone suggested that the windpipe was within the jaw allowing the skull to sit squarely on an erect spine as in modern humans, rather than in front of it as in other great apes.

Erin Wayman from the Smithsonian believes that altered climate brought in a colder, drier period, shrinking the forests that provided their diet of seeds, fruits and bamboo. Homo erectus may have over-hunted and/or out competed Gigantopithecus. He also may have developed and matured slowly which, along with his great size, probably gave him a slow reproduction rate. All of this elevates a species risk of going extinct.


Next Part 2 - Is bigfoot Gigantopithecus?

 

Sources: "The bigfoot book" by Nick Redfern, "Finding bigfoot" by Martha Brockenbrough, "Sasquatch the apes among us" by John Green, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica and National Geographic.

 

Nancy

"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."
 "Those that know, need no further proof. Those that don't, should not demand it from others, but seek it for themselves."
 

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.


[Please Note: Sadly Nancy passed away at the first of January, 2022. We will continue to honor her and her research by sharing her work. RIP Nancy. -Thomas]



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