Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Gigantopithecus Ate

A story in PhysOrg reports on research done on the diet of Gigantopithecus blacki, the immense primate that lived during the late Miocene in southern China and Vietnam. They write:
Drs. ZHAO LingXia, ZHANG LiZhao and WU XinZhi, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Ac of Sciences, and ZHANG FuSong from Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, analyze enamel stable carbon isotope values of G. blacki and the associated mammalian megafauna from two sites in South China, and find that this giant ape and other large mammals solely fed on C3 biomass, and lived in forest habitats, as reported in the journal of Chinese Science Bulletin, 2011(56), No.33:3590-3595.
C3 biomass sources are more primitive than C4, which include the canes and more open-field grains. This is not a surprise, just confirmation of what we suspected.

This was a truly unusual and majestic ape, standing some eight to ten feet tall. There were two species, G. bilasporensis and G. blacki, the latter of which lasted until around 300 k years ago. It is this form that is likely the impetus behind the Sasquatch and abominable snowman stories. Here is an artist' sketch, based on accumulated jaws and teeth.

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  1. I see that Sandwalk is off your Blogroll. Too much invective?

  2. I get really bent with pompous scientists who take pot shots at theists and use a particularly nasty tone about it as if somehow believing in God is the most asinine thing one can do.

    I find it especially aggravating when they take time out from science to do it. After about three of those in a row, I decided I had had enough.

  3. I believe in God! My biggest question for the evolutionist is where did a woman come from? For millions and millions of years we shot blanks until we evolved semen and then some kind of way a woman popped out of a man. HA!