A gigantic ape, measuring about 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds, co-existed alongside humans, a geochronologist at McMaster University has discovered.
McMaster geochronologist Jack Rink has determined that a gigantic ape which became extinct 100,000 years ago co-existed alongside humans.
Gigantopithecus blackii, the largest primate that ever lived.
Using a high-precision absolute-dating method (techniques involving electron spin resonance and uranium series), Jack Rink, associate professor of geography and earth sciences at McMaster, has determined that Gigantopithecus blackii, the largest primate that ever lived, roamed southeast Asia for nearly a million years before the species died out 100,000 years ago. This was known as the Pleistocene period, by which time humans had already existed for a million years.
"A missing piece of the puzzle has always focused on pin-pointing when Gigantopithecus existed," explains Rink. "This is a primate that co-existed with humans at a time when humans were undergoing a major evolutionary change. Guangxi province in southern China, where the Gigantopithecus fossils were found, is the same region where some believe the modern human race originated."
Jane Christmas | EurekAlert!
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