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King Kong, Gigantopithecus & the Missing Link

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Author Topic: King Kong, Gigantopithecus & the Missing Link  (Read 2607 times)
Kristin Moore
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2011, 02:56:46 am »

 Meanwhile, however, Weidenreich, who had retreated from Beijing to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, set about studying plaster casts of the four teeth. Because of the unusually large size of a few of the Homo erectus specimens from Java, Weidenreich came up with the notion that there had been a period of gigantism in human evolution, and that modern humans were the diminutive descendants of these giants. In Apes, Giants, and Man, published in 1946, he argued that the Gigantopithecus teeth were humanlike, and that von Koenigswald had been mistaken in considering the animal an ape rather than a member of the human family tree.
        During von Koenigswald's wartime internment, Weidenreich's views became widely accepted. To end the controversy that arose, more complete specimens of Gigantopithecus had to be found, a task only the Chinese could undertake, for the country was closed to Western scientists. In the 1950s, with the establishment in Beijing of what is now the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese paleontologists began to search for the source of the Gigantopithecus fossils. Two veterans of the Peking man expedition, Pei Wenzhong and Jia Lanpo, headed a team that visited the warehouses that supplied all the apothecary shops in China with dragon bones and dragon teeth. They found vast quantities of fossils in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Province. From there, they divided into two teams: one, led by Pei, headed north; the other, led by Jia, went south.
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