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Giants in Those Days--

-"Giant Ape" Co-Existed Alongside Humans 100,000 Years Ago, Researcher Finds---Page 14

We first introduced "Gigantopithecus" on the first page of this section. It is generally believed by most scientists today that Gigantopithecus was a Giant ape. One of the original discoverers was convinced that the giant teeth were from a large human being.

Photo: Orignal photo of Kevin M. Andersen with his sculpture of Gigantopithecus at Hartwick College in NY. Anderson is an Artist and Filmmaker. Bottom photo; Gigantopithecus, the man?-by s8int.com. Click and drag photo to resize.

"Weidenreich, who had retreated from Beijing to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, set about studying plaster casts of the four teeth. Because of the unusually large size of a few of the Homo erectus specimens from Java, Weidenreich came up with the notion that there had been a period of gigantism in human evolution, and that modern humans were the diminutive descendants of these giants.

In Apes, Giants, and Man, published in 1946, he argued that the Gigantopithecus teeth were humanlike, and that von Koenigswald had been mistaken in considering the animal an ape rather than a member of the human family tree. During von Koenigswald's wartime internment, Weidenreich's views became widely accepted.

..The discovery of the jaws resolved, at least for most scientists, any doubts that the creature was apelike and not, as Weidenreich had argued, humanlike.

Based on the fossils, Gigantopithecus is now placed among the Asian apes, a descendant, along with the orangutan, of the earlier ape ancestor Sivapithecus, best known from an 8-million-year-old skull discovered in Pakistan. Its size and ape affiliation suggest Gigantopithecus was a ground-dwelling, fist-walking creature."

...The Ape that Was, by Russell L. Ciochon

Here at s8int.com, we have no idea whether gigantopithecus was a giant ape or a giant man. We do know that scientists have had trouble making that determination from teeth and jaw or skull fragments, previously. As an example, Nebraska man turned out to have been a pig.

The point of this new research presented below is that Gigantopithecus lived much more recently than had previously been thought by science. (We don't accept conventional science's dating assumptions.)

"Giant Ape" Co-Existed Alongside Humans 100,000 Years Ago, Researcher Finds

A gigantic ape, measuring about 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds, co-existed alongside humans, a geochronologist at McMaster University has discovered.

Using a high-precision absolute-dating method (techniques involving electron spin resonance and uranium series), Jack Rink, associate professor of geography and earth sciences at McMaster, has determined that Gigantopithecus blackii, the largest primate that ever lived, roamed southeast Asia for nearly a million years before the species died out 100,000 years ago.

This was known as the Pleistocene period, by which time humans had already existed for a million years.

"A missing piece of the puzzle has always focused on pin-pointing when Gigantopithecus existed," explains Rink. "This is a primate that co-existed with humans at a time when humans were undergoing a major evolutionary change.

Guangxi province in southern China, where the Gigantopithecus fossils were found, is the same region where some believe the modern human race originated."

Photo:Hesperopithecus; born of a pig's tooth in 1922!

Research into Gigantopithecus blackii began in 1935, when the Dutch paleontologist G.H. von Koenigswald discovered a yellowish molar among the "dragon bones" for sale in a Hong Kong pharmacy.

Traditional Chinese medicine maintains that dragon bones, basically fossil bones and teeth, possess curative powers when the fossils are ground into a fine powder, and ingested.

For nearly 80 years, Gigantopithecus blackii has intrigued scientists, who have pieced together a description using nothing more than a handful of teeth and a set of jawbones.

"The size of these specimens - the crown of the molar, for instance, measures about an inch across - helped us understand the extraordinary size of the primate," says Rink. Sample studies further revealed that Gigantopithecus was an herbivore, feasting mainly on bamboo.

Some believe that the primate's voracious appetite for bamboo ultimately placed him at the losing end of the evolutionary scale against his more nimble human competition.

Rink's discovery coincides with an invitation to join the renowned New York-based Explorers Club. Established in 1904, the Club's seven founding members included two polar explorers, the curator of birds and mammals at The American Museum of Natural History, an archaeologist, a war correspondent and author, a professor of physics and an ethnologist.

Sir Edmund Hillary is Club's honorary chairman. Membership includes an eclectic range of field scientists and explorers from more than 60 countries. Rink joins McMaster colleagues Hendrik Poinar (associate professor, Anthropology) and Ed Reinhardt (associate professor, Geography and Earth Science) who are also members.

Rink is currently in Thailand exploring an area where it is believed Gigantopithecus also roamed. Rink returns to campus on November 19.

Source: McMaster University (by Jane Christmas)

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