Showing posts with label Gigantopithecus blacki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gigantopithecus blacki. Show all posts

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."

Read more at:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Unscientific Anthropology and Special Needs Bigfoot

Did Anthropology get giganto wrong and why do some bigfoots get seen?
"Giganto fossils become huge orangs in anthropological fantasies these days" --Kirk Sigurdson on Anthropologist being unscientific

"Although [comparing a sasquatch face to downs-syndrome] makes some people's "politically incorrect" radar go off, it's worth considering from a purely scientific standpoint." --Kirk Sigurdson being scientific

In back-to-back posts Kirk Sigurdson continues his no-apology critical approach to--well, everything. In a new post out today he pushes back against the scientific establishment and challenges what he believes are assumptions. Read an excerpt below:

Giganto fossils become huge orangs in anthropological fantasies these days, which are not very scientific, IMO. Why? They leap to conclusions as fast as their 19th Century brethren attributed human faces to apes in their illustrations and "scholarly" musings.

Unscientific wish-fulfillment [pictured left]: there just isn't enough data to support the conclusion that a giganto looked like this. It's as rash as supposing that gigantos still exist today in the form of bigfoots.

Personally, I am intrigued by the latter hypothesis, but I realize that there simply isn't enough cold hard data to effectively support such a conclusion with any degree of scientific certainty. I find it hypocritical that anthropologists can be so thorough in some ways, and so flippant in others.

Oh well, nobody's perfect, but when the whole field of anthropology gets behind such a preposterous conclusion (that Gigantos are basically overgrown orangs) then I have to reserve a certain amount of suspicion for those at the top that are responsible for pushing such a notion so hard and so deep into the minds of the general public, as well as allegedly "well-educated" Ph.D's.
Click to following link to read the rest Kirk's Gigantopithicus post.

I think, to be fair, anthropologist have made no conclusions. The jury is still out. Anthropologist admit that they are even uncertain about the locomotion. Without a pelvic or leg fossils, it is very possible that giganto is strictly a quadraped walking around on all fours. A bipedal giant orang giganto is a minority view.

In Kirk's other post he takes note that the description of Sasquatch faces have been compared to the same features as down-syndrome.
I've heard the comparison between bigfoot faces and human "Down syndrome-like" faces in connection with some very impressive encounters where the witness was really able to observe the bigfoot's facial structure.

Although this comparison makes some people's "politically incorrect" radar go off, it's worth considering from a purely scientific standpoint.

Down syndrome (DS) people do have different chromosome patterns than standard homo sapien sapiens. Perhaps it is closer to the standard sasquatch chromosome orientation? One thing is certain: Downs cases look alike, and the more acute the incidence of this disorder, the more exaggerated facial features become.
You can read Kirk's post regarding this topic here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Robert Lindsay: Ketchum Bigfoot DNA Research is Death Knell for Giganto Theory

Simple equation: Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA study definitively argues against Giagantopithecus as Bigfoot ancestor. As we have posted earlier, Ketchum says Erectus is a better model.

Below is an excerpt from Robert Lindsays post "Bigfoot News January 20, 2012" The article mentions a possible Erickson Project Movie covered in greater depth by Shawn at BigfootEvidence.

Here is our favorite part of Robert's Post:
Another blow against the Bigfoot is an ape meme. Ketchum has recently changed the description of herself on Twitter. It now says: Scientist, Forensics and Hominid Research (italics ours). Nice!
More death knells for the Giganto/Bigfoot is an ape theory. The precursor of Bigfoot is often said by proponents of the Bigfoot is an ape theory to be something called Gigantopithecus, a giant ape that lived in Asia and went extinct about 300,000 years ago. There are several problems with this model.
  1. If it went extinct 300,000 YBP, that’s a long time between then and the present day Bigfoots with no fossils in between.
  2. No Giganto fossils in the Americas.
  3. While Giganto was probably an ape when it was standing on two feet, there is no evidence that it was bipedal, and it was probably not bipedal. After all, the only bipedal apes are in the human line, the hominids. If it’s a bipedal ape, it’s a hominid, not an ape. This is fundamental.Theorists of the Giganto was bipedal line offer the Giganto fossils as evidence for bipedalism, but all we have is a jaw and some teeth. It seems impossible to prove via meager evidence from the mouth of a creature whether it stood upright or not.
  4. While some think that Giganto derived from Australopithecines and went on to Meganthropus and then to modern Homo in Asia, this line is tendentious. It’s true that a Bigfoot tooth found by Mike Rugg resembles a Meganthropus tooth. However, Meganthropus is found only in Asia, and while it appears to be Homo Erectus, it also seems to have gone extinct about 1 million years ago.That’s 1 million years between Meganthropus and Bigfoot with no fossils in between. A new theory that I like suggests that Giganto instead is related to Orangutans. If so and if Bigfoot is related to Giganto, Bigfoot DNA should be far away from human, somewhere near the distance of an Orangutan. Instead, Bigfoot DNA is 37% of the way from a human to a chimp. This would mean that it is in the human line and far away from an Orangutan.
  5. Now that DNA has shown that Bigfoots are hybrids between a possible Homo Erectus type on one side and Homo sapiens on the other, this means that modern humans mated with Giganto in the last 10-50,000 years. Assuming such mating is even physically possible, it’s almost certain that no viable offspring could derive from mating between a human and an orangutan type.Further, the breeding between relict hominids and humans that produced the Bigfoots seems to have occurred in both Africa and Southern Europe between 10-50,000 years ago, and Giganto is known only from Asia around China and Vietnam (a likely Southeast Asian location for an orangutan derived type) and is not known from Africa or Europe.
In short, the Bigfoot as Giganto theory seems to have massive problems.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Smithsonian: Did Bigfoot Really Exist? How Gigantopithecus Became Extinct

A reconstruction of Gigantopithecus. Image courtesy of Flickr user Sam_Wise
 " least one dental study indicates Gigantopithecus developed and matured very slowly—a sign they probably had low reproductive rates, which can elevate a species’ risk of going extinct. --Smithsonian
One our favorite places to visit is the Hominid Hunting section at the Smithsonian Blog. At Bigfoot Lunch Club we believe hominids and anthropology go hand-in-hand with Bigfoot research. Sometimes the point where these sciences cross paths is so stark that an institution entertains questions we (Bigfoot enthusiast) ask ourselves.

A reminder:  In 1988, due to a high volume of inquiries on the subject of Bigfoot, The Smithsonian developed a formal Bigfoot response letter.

Did Bigfoot Really Exist? How Gigantopithecus Became Extinct 
Posted By: Erin Wayman
 Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Yeti. The Abominable Snowman. Whatever you want to call it, such a giant, mythical ape is not real—at least, not anymore. But more than a million years ago, an ape as big as a polar bear lived in South Asia, until going extinct 300,000 years ago.
Scientists first learned ofGigantopithecus in 1935, when Ralph von Koenigswald, a German paleoanthropologist, walked into a pharmacy in Hong Kong and found an unusually large primate molar for sale. Since then, researchers have collected hundreds ofGigantopithecus teeth and several jaws in China, Vietnam and India. Based on these fossils, it appearsGigantopithecus was closely related to modern orangutans andSivapithecus, an ape that lived in Asia about 12 to 8 million years ago. With only dentition to go on, it’s hard to piece together what this animal was like. But based on comparisons with gorillas and other modern apes, researchers estimate Gigantopithecus stood more than 10 feet tall and weighed 1,200 pounds (at most, gorillas only weigh 400 pounds). Given their size, they probably lived on the ground, walking on their fists like modern orangutans.
Fortunately, fossil teeth do have a lot to say about an animal’s diet. And the teeth of Gigantopithecus also provide clues to why the ape disappeared.
The features of the dentition—large, flat molars, thick dental enamel, a deep, massive jaw—indicateGigantopithecus probably ate tough, fibrous plants (similar to Paranthropus). More evidence came in 1990, when Russell Ciochon, a biological anthropologist at the University of Iowa, and colleagues (PDF) placed samples of the ape’s teeth under a scanning electron microscope to look for opal phytoliths, microscopic silica structures that form in plant cells. Based on the types of phyoliths the researchers found stuck to the teeth, they concluded Gigantopithecus had a mixed diet of fruits and seeds from the fig family Moraceae and some kind of grasses, probably bamboo. The combination of tough and sugary foods helps explain why so many of the giant ape’s teeth were riddled with cavities. And numerous pits on Gigantopithecus‘s teeth—a sign of incomplete dental development caused by malnuntrition or food shortages—corroborate the bamboo diet. Ciochon’s team noted bamboo species today periodically experience mass die-offs, which affect the health of pandas. The same thing could have happened to Gigantopithecus.
A Gigantopithecus jaw. Image courtesy of Wikicommons

Further evidence of Gigantopithecus‘ food preferences and habitat was published last November.Zhao LingXia of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and colleagues analyzed carbon isotopes in a sample of Gigantopithecus teeth. Plants have different forms of carbon based on their type of photosynthesis; this carbon footprint is then recorded in the teeth of animals that eat plants. The team determined Gigantopithecus—and the animals living alongside it, such as deer, horses and bears—ate only C3 plants, evidence the ape lived in a forested environment. This work also supports the proposed bamboo diet, as bamboo is a C3 plant.
So what happened to this Pleistocene Yeti? Zhang’s team suggested the rise of the Tibetan plateau 1.6 million to 800,000 years ago altered the climate of South Asia, ushering in a colder, drier period when forests shrank. Other factors could have exacerbated this crisis. Gigantopithecus‘s neighbor, Homo erectus, may have over-hunted and/or outcompeted their larger ape cousin. And at least one dental study indicates Gigantopithecus developed and matured very slowly—a sign they probably had low reproductive rates, which can elevate a species’ risk of going extinct.
Some Bigfoot hunters say Gigantopithecus is alive and well, hiding out in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Other Sasquatch enthusiasts, however, point out this is unlikely, as Bigfoot is reported to be a swift, agile, upright walker—not a lumbering, 1,200-pound quadruped.

UPDATE: Dr. Jeff Meldrum , Anthropology professor at the University of Idaho responded to the Smithsonian you can read his response to the article below:

Glad to see the Smithsonian maintaining its tradition of objective consideration of the question of Sasquatch/Bigfoot. Gigantopithecus has often been pointed to as a potential antecedent of sasqutch — after all it is a species that is the right size in the right place at the right time. George York’s reconstruction of Gigantopithecus (pictured above) conveys the sense of the enormity of the ape, but it seems unlikely that a terrestrial ape would retain the limb proportions and suspensory specializations of an over-sized orangutan, if it ever even possessed them to begin with. Fragmentation of the Pleistocene forests might just as well have spawned novel adaptations as driven Gigantopithecus to extinction. The extremely sparse fossil record for this large and likely rare ape provides only a meager glimpse of its past range and distribution. As for diet, the recent paper pointing to a C3 diet and therefore a forest habitat is an important addition to our understanding. It really doesn’t lend that much support to the “bamboo hypothesis.” Omitted from discussion is reference to the analysis of dental microwear, which says something about the composition of such a C3 diet (Bamboo feeding, dental microwear, and diet of the Pleistocene ape Gigantopithecus blacki. Daegling, DJ | Grine, FE. South African Journal of Science. Vol. 90, no. 10, pp. 527-532. 1994). This pointed to a catholic diet most similar to that of chimpanzees, not the what was predicted for a specialized bamboo feeder. The characterization of a lumbering 1,200 quadruped (or biped for that matter) –”the size of a polar bear” — is misleading. I suspect few would want to challenge a polar bear to a foot race.
Comment by Jeff Meldrum — January 9, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bigfoot: Bone Flesh and Fur

Click image to see larger view

Are people still talking about Enoch? We had tons opinions and many emails and comments requesting us to weigh in, but then we thought better of it.

We do, however, think there is still value in using research to discover Bigfoot. For one, we don't all have the benefit of knowing a guy named Mike from Florida. Two, we are as much in love of the pursuit as we are with the eventual proof.

That's right, we love the pursuit, the guessing, the pondering and the wondering. So we decided to do something about fostering what WE love about Bigfooting; the sharing of ideas.

So here we are, with some neat concept art of Gigantopithecus blacki. The Gigantopithecus blacki skull, introduced to us bigfooters by Dr. Grover Krantz. It is a reconstruction based on a large Chinese male fossil jaw, assuming bipedal posture and ape-sized brain.

We always wanted to see a muscle reconstruction and then a flesh one on top, this way we could see the relationship of each layer. Things we noticed are lack of forehead muscles, theres no room for them. We were also were very surprised how it really was really "in-between" human and ape. Most art we see is either to far in one direction, this concept, we thought, struck the balance between the two.

Share your thoughts, tell us what you think we got right (or wrong) and share what you would like to see next.

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Gigantopithecus blacki: bone, flesh, fur by Guy Edwards is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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