A gigantic ape standing 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds lived alongside humans for over a million years, according to a new study.
Fortunately for the early humans, the huge primate’s diet consisted mainly of bamboo.
Scientists have known about Gigantopithecus blackii since the accidental discovery of some of its teeth on sale in a Hong Kong pharmacy about 80 years ago. While the idea of a giant ape piqued the interest of scientists – and bigfoot hunters – around the world, it was unclear how long ago this beast went extinct.
A fresh analysis of two previously found skulls determined they’re 200,000 old, making them the oldest known examples of our species. Yet fossil records indicate musical instruments, drawings, needles and other sophisticated tools didn’t appear until about 50,000 years ago, suggesting Homo sapiens had a pretty lowbrow culture for 150,000 years. Well, evolution takes time. Another team found the fossilized remains of what they think is humankind’s first walking ancestor, from 4 million years ago. Other research confirmed that the oldest human ancestor, from the time when we split with the apes, lived around 6 million years ago. Oh, and you have to respect our relatively recent ancestors (the lowbrow folks) who we now know lived among 10-foot-tall gorillasthat have since gone extinct. Maybe they were so busy running they had no time to paint or create alphabets.