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Real-Life King Kong Died Because It Wouldn't Change Its Diet, Study Says

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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« on: January 12, 2016, 08:15:48 pm »

Real-Life King Kong Died Because It Wouldn't Change Its Diet, Study Says
Gigantopithecus couldn't adapt to a changing world.
 01/06/2016 06:00 am ET | Updated 6 days ago
Ed Mazza
Overnight Editor, The Huffington Post


 
CREDIT: H. BOCHERENS
Mystery solved? Scientists think they now know what killed off the Gigantopithecus, which has been described as a real-life King Kong.
It wasn't airplanes that killed King Kong. It wasn't even beauty that killed the beast.
It was diet.
Gigantopithecus, a giant ape once described as a real-life King Kong, went extinct because it couldn't adapt to a changing food landscape, according to new research published in the journal Quaternary International.
Scientists believe the aptly named ape was the largest primate ever to walk the Earth, reaching heights of nearly 10 feet and weighing as much as 1,100 pounds.
By comparison, the largest primate today is literally half that size. The eastern lowland gorilla is between 4 feet and 5.5 feet tall when standing upright and weighs up to 440 pounds, according to World Wildlife Fund.
But little else is known about Gigantopithecus because it left little behind when it vanished from China and southeast Asia some 100,000 years ago. So far, the only fossils found have been jawbones, and teeth so big they were once sold as "dragon's teeth."
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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2016, 08:17:33 pm »



CREDIT: SENCKENBERG CENTER FOR HUMAN EVOLUTION AND PALAEOENVIRONMENT
Prof. Dr. Friedemann Schrenk shows off one of the giant molars of the Gigantopithecus.
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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, 08:18:02 pm »

But an analysis of those teeth shows why Gigantopithecus disappeared: They were very finicky eaters.
An analysis using carbon isotopes showed that the Gigantopithecus was a vegetarian that lived in the forest, and didn't like bamboo. As the ice age advanced, the giant ape's forest home shrunk, eliminating its preferring food. While other apes made do with what was available on the growing savannas, stubborn Gigantopithecus clung to its home and diet.
"Due to its size, Gigantopithecus presumably depended on a large amount of food," said Dr. Hervé Bocherens of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen in Germany. "When during the Pleistocene era more and more forested areas turned into savanna landscapes, there was simply an insufficient food supply for the giant ape."
Not everyone believes Gigantopithecus went extinct. The Telegraph reports that anthropologist Grover Krantz, who died in 2002, theorized that some survived and crossed over into North America -- and that their descendants are responsible for modern Bigfoot sightings.
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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 08:18:35 pm »

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618215011854
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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, 08:19:38 pm »


Gigantopithecus was a very large, very strong species of ape. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Kabir Bakie
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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, 08:19:53 pm »

A prehistoric species of giant ape went extinct because it couldn't adapt to its changing environment.
Much bigger than a man, the enormous primate Gigantopithecus was twice as large as any of today's great apes and stood up to 10ft tall while weighing in at more than 1,100 pounds.

The species lived across parts of what is now Southern Asia and roamed the planet from around nine million years ago until its disappearance somewhere around 100,000 years ago.

Exactly what caused the demise of these huge forest-dwelling apes has long remained a topic of debate among scientists and to date only a few teeth and jaw fossils have ever been found.

Now however scientists in Germany have put forward a new theory suggesting that the reason the species died out was because it failed to adapt its diet to the changing Pleistocene landscape.

"Due to its size, Gigantopithecus presumably depended on a large amount of food," said Dr. Hervé Bocherens. "When during the Pleistocene era more and more forested areas turned into savanna landscapes, there was simply an insufficient food supply for the giant ape."   
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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 08:20:35 pm »

and because he was unable to adapt he went extinct. That is how it works. BTW, same thing happened to our cousin Neanderthal.
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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 08:22:01 pm »

Although size does have its advantages, one needs only to calculate basal metabolic rate to see that small has distinct advantages when dealing with limited resources. Caloric intake dictates survival.
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Kolchak, the Night Stalker
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, 08:22:37 pm »

The main theory I have heard about Gig extinction places the blame on Pandas. Basically, Pandas evolved to be better bamboo munchers, and Gig simply couldn't "keep up" with the Pandas, at least in evolutionary terms.
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