Author Topic: World's largest ever ape died out because it refused to eat its greens ? study  (Read 738 times)

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Offline yungcrux

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The largest ape to roam Earth died out 100,000 years ago because it failed to adapt to eating savannah grass after climate change affected its preferred diet of forest fruit.

Gigantopithecus ? the closest nature ever came to producing a real King Kong ? weighed five times as much as an adult man and probably stood 3m (9ft) tall, according to rough estimates.



In its heyday a million years ago, it inhabited semi-tropical forests in southern China and mainland south-east Asia.

Until now, though, almost nothing was known about the giant?s anatomical shape or habits.

The only fossil records are four partial lower jaws, and perhaps a thousand teeth ? the first of which turned up in the 1930s in Hong Kong apothecaries, where they were sold as ?dragon?s teeth?.

These meagre remains ?are clearly insufficient to say if the animal was bipedal or quadrupedal, and what would be its body proportions?, Herve Bocherens, a researcher at T?bingen University in Germany, said.

Its closest modern cousin is the orangutan, but whether Gigantopithecus had the same golden-red hue, or was black like a gorilla, is unknown.

Examining slight variations in carbon isotopes found in tooth enamel, Bocherens and an international team of scientists showed that the primordial King Kong lived only in the forest, was a strict vegetarian and probably wasn?t crazy about bamboo.



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