Resin replica of Gigantopithecus blacki mandible. Gigantopithecus From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Gigantopithecus Temporal range: Pleistocene, 9–0.1Ma PreЄ Є O S D C P T J K Pg N G. blacki lower mandible (cast) Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Primates Family: Hominidae Subfamily: Ponginae Genus: †Gigantopithecus von Koenigswald, 1935 Species †Gigantopithecus blacki †Gigantopithecus bilaspurensis †Gigantopithecus giganteus Gigantopithecus (from the Ancient Greek γίγας gigas "giant", and πίθηκος pithekos "ape") is an extinct genus of ape that existed from perhaps nine million years to as recently as one hundred thousand years ago, in what is now Nepal, China, India, and Vietnam, placing Gigantopithecus in the same time frame and geographical location as several hominin species. The fossil record suggests that individuals of the species Gigantopithecus blacki were the largest apes that ever lived, standing up to 3 m (9.8 ft), and weighing up to 540 kg (1,190 lb). Contents 1 Fossils2 Characteristics 2.1 Diet 3 Species 3.1 Gigantopithecus blacki 3.1.1 Morphology3.1.2 Classification 3.2 Gigantopithecus bilaspurensis3.3 Gigantopithecus giganteus 4 See also5 References6 Further reading7 External links Fossils Holotype Gigantopithecus blacki molar The first Gigantopithecus remains described by an anthropologist were found in 1935 by Ralph von Koenigswald in an apothecary shop. Fossilized teeth and bones are often ground into powder and used in some branches of traditional Chinese medicine. Von Koenigswald named the theorized species Gigantopithecus. Since then, relatively few fossils of Gigantopithecus have been recovered. Aside from the molars recovered in Chinese traditional medicine shops, Liucheng Cave in Liuzhou, China, has produced numerous Gigantopithecus blacki teeth, as well as several jawbones. Other sites yielding significant finds were in Vietnam and India. These finds suggest the range of Gigantopithecus was in southeast Asia. In 1955, 47 G. blacki teeth were found among a shipment of 'dragon bones' (aka, "oracle bones") in China. Tracing these teeth to their source resulted in recovery of more teeth and a rather complete large mandible. By 1958, three mandibles and more than 1,300 teeth had been recovered. Gigantopithecus remains have come from sites in Hubei, Guangxi, and Sichuan, from warehouses for Chinese medicinal products, as well as from cave deposits. Not all Chinese remains have been dated to the same time period, and the fossils in Hubei appear to be of a later date than elsewhere in China. The Hubei teeth are also larger. Characteristics Gigantopithecus's method of locomotion is uncertain, as no pelvic or leg bones have been found. The dominant view is that it walked on all fours like modern gorillas and chimpanzees; however, a minority opinion favors bipedal locomotion. This was most notably championed by the late Grover Krantz, but this assumption is based only on the very few jawbone remains found, all of which are U-shaped and widen towards the rear. This allows room for the windpipe to be within the jaw, allowing the skull to sit squarely upon a fully erect spine as in modern humans, rather than roughly in front of it, as in the other great apes. The majority view is that the weight of such a large, heavy animal would put enormous stress on the creature's legs, ankles, and feet if it walked bipedally; while if it walked on all four limbs, like gorillas, its weight would be better distributed over each limb. Diet The jaws of Gigantopithecus are deep and very thick. The molars are low-crowned and flat, and exhibit heavy enamel suitable for tough grinding. The premolars are broad and flat and configured similarly to the molars. The canine teeth are neither pointed nor sharp, while the incisors are small, peglike, and closely aligned. The features of teeth and jaws suggested that the animal was adapted to chewing tough, fibrous food by cutting, crushing, and grinding it. Gigantopithecus teeth also have a large number of cavities, similar to those found in giant pandas, whose diet, which includes a large amount of bamboo, may be similar to that of Gigantopithecus. In addition to bamboo, Gigantopithecus consumed other vegetable foods, as suggested by the analysis of the phytoliths adhering to its teeth. An examination of the microscopic scratches and gritty plant remains embedded in Gigantopithecus teeth suggests they ingested seeds and fruit, as well as bamboo. Species A comparison graph of a 1.8-m-tall human male in comparison to Gigantopithecus blacki (left) and G. giganteus (right): This graph is based on orangutan proportions while standing upright. There are presently three (extinct) named species of Gigantopithecus: G. blacki, G. bilaspurensis, and G. giganteus. Gigantopithecus blacki Gigantopithecus blacki is only known through fossil teeth and mandibles found in cave sites in Southeast Asia. As the name suggests, these are appreciably larger than those of living gorillas, but the exact size and structure of the rest of the body can only be estimated in the absence of additional findings. Dating methods have shown that G. blacki existed for at least a million years, going extinct about 100,000 years ago after having been contemporary with (anatomically) modern humans (Homo sapiens) for tens of thousands of years, and co-existing with H. erectus who preceded the appearance of H. sapiens. Morphology Based on the fossil evidence, adult male Gigantopithecus blacki are believed to have stood about 3 m (9.8 ft) tall and weighed as much as 540 kg (1,190 lb), making the species two to three times heavier than modern gorillas and nearly five times heavier than the orangutan, its closest living relative. Large males may have had an armspan of over 3.6 m (12 ft). The species was highly sexually dimorphic, with adult females roughly half the weight of males. Because of wide interspecies differences in the relationship between tooth and body size, some argue that it is more likely that Gigantopithecus was much smaller, at roughly 1.8 m (5.9 ft). The species lived in Asia and probably inhabited bamboo forests, since its fossils are often found alongside those of extinct ancestors of the panda. Most evidence points to Gigantopithecus being a plant-eater. Its appearance is not known, because of the fragmentary nature of its fossil remains. It possibly resembled modern gorillas, because of its supposedly similar lifestyle. Some scientists, however, think it probably looked more like its closest modern relative, the orangutan. Being so large, Gigantopithecus possibly had few or no enemies when fully grown. However, younger, weak, or injured individuals may have been vulnerable to predation by tigers, pythons, crocodiles, machairodonts, hyenas, bears, and Homo erectus. Normal 0 21 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 I will send worldwide. 30 days money back guarantee (excluding shipping).