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King Kong, Gigantopithecus & the Missing Link

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Author Topic: King Kong, Gigantopithecus & the Missing Link  (Read 2616 times)
Kristin Moore
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2011, 03:00:47 am »

To gain a more complete image of what the giant ape looked like, we sought the help of Bill Munns, who creates highly realistic, life-size models of existing endangered primates - gorillas, orangutans, and the Chinese golden monkey - for zoos and educational institutions. Based on the jaws and teeth, and using the proportions of the skulls of existing great apes, we estimated that the average male Gigantopithecus had a skull that measured eighteen inches from the bottom of the jaw to the highest point of the sagittal crest (a male gorilla, for comparison, has a skull ten inches high).
        The next step was to project a hypothetical skeleton from the hypothetical skull. For this purpose Munns used as references two of the largest terrestrial primates known: one modern, the gorilla, and one from the fossil record, the extinct giant baboon Theropithecus oswaldi. In determining the size of Gigantopithecus, we felt it necessary to scale the body back a bit, so as not to be influenced too much by the giant ape's extraordinarily deep and thickened mandible. Nevertheless, given that the average male silverback gorilla is about six feet tall (standing erect) and weighs in at 400 pounds, Munns calculated that the average Gigantopithecus male was more than ten feet tall and weighed as much as 1,200 pounds - comparable to a large male polar bear.
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