Fact Files: Gigantopithecus blacki: (j-eye-GANT-oh-PITH-ikus BLA-kee)

Meaning: 'Gigantic Ape of Black' after the 20th century archaeologist Davidson Black.

Lived: 6.3 million – 200,000 years ago.

Range: South East Asia.

Diet: Bamboo, durian, jackfruit.

Size: 300 cm / 544 kg.

Gigantopithecus in close-up
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Description | Evidence

Standing an enormous 3 metres (9’10”) in height, Gigantopithecus may be the largest primate ever to have walked the Earth.

It fed on bamboo in the dense forests of South East Asia. Gigantopithecus had a broad, short face with a massive jaw and teeth designed for stripping bamboo shoots.

Like other big herbivores, Gigantopithecus was probably a slow mover. But it had little need for speed. Its feeding habits required it to do little more than move from place to place as it systematically stripped vegetation from its surroundings.

Homo erectus may have hunted and eaten juvenile or injured Gigantopithecus, but it is unlikely they would have taken on an enormous adult.

Gigantopithecus males were much larger than the females, suggesting there may have been strong competition for mates amongst males.

Link More about Gigantopithecus from the University of Iowa (this will close this popup window).

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