Friday, January 8, 2016

Tooth Study Reveals fate of Bigfoot Ancestor

Gigantopithicus (CC BY 2.0 Daderot/WIkimedia Commons)

"...there was simply an insufficient food supply for the giant ape." --Dr. Hervé Bocherens; University of Tübingen in Germany

The short version: Due to an Ice Age and finicky food preferences the Gigantopithicus died out around what is modern-day Thailand. The idea supports a theory of how Sasquatch might have avoided the same fate.

For most scientists they believe this was the end of the line for the Gigantopithicus. However, there are relatives of the giant ape that lived on, Orangutans are one example. Scientists who were able to shed light on the fate of Gigantopithicus a/k/a the Asian King Kong, described how Orangs were able to escape the same fate.

Dr. Hervé Bocherens concludes, "Relatives of the giant ape, such as the recent orangutan, have been able to survive despite their specialization on a certain habitat. However, orangutans have a slow metabolism and are able to survive on limited food. Due to its size, Gigantopithecus presumably depended on a large amount of food. When during the Pleistocene era more and more forested areas turned into savanna landscapes, there was simply an insufficient food supply for the giant ape."

Another potential modern day relative of Gigantopithicus familiar to bigfooters is the Sasquatch.

In Big Footprints: A Scientific Inquiry into the Reality of Sasquatch, Grover Krantz suggested that around 2,000 Gigantopithecus relatives escaped extinction and migrated from Asia over the Bering straits.

Read an excerpt that sheds more light on Bigfoot's Ancestor below followed by a link to the larger scientific report at Phys.Org.

It is well documented that the giant ape Gigantopithecus was huge – but beyond this fact, there are many uncertainties regarding the extinct ancestor of the orangutan. Size indications vary from 1.8 to 3 meters, and weight estimates between 200 and 500 kilograms. And there are various theories regarding its diet as well: Some scientists assume a strictly vegetarian lifestyle, while others consider the ape a meat eater, and a few believe that its diet was exclusively limited to bamboo. "Unfortunately, there are very few fossil finds of Gigantopithecus – only a few large teeth and bones from the lower mandible are known," explains Prof. Dr. Hervé Bocherens of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (HEP) at the University of Tübingen, and he continues, "But now, we were able to shed a little light on the obscure history of this primate."

Together with his colleagues from the Senckenberg Research Institute, Prof. Dr. Friedmann Schrenk and PD Dr. Ottmar Kullmer, as well as other international scientists, the biogeologist from Tübingen examined the fossil giant ape's tooth enamel in order to make inferences on its diet and to define potential factors for its extinction. "Our results indicate that the large primates only lived in the forest and obtained their food from this habitat," explains Bocherens, and he adds, "Gigantopithecus was an exclusive vegetarian, but it did not specialize on bamboo."

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