Arab Today, arab today why the real king kong became extinct
Last Updated : GMT 18:00:08
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

The largest ape to roam Earth

Why the real King Kong became extinct

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Why the real King Kong became extinct

An undated picture provided by the Press Office of the Senckenberg Research Institute
Paris - Arab Today

The largest ape to roam Earth died out 100,000 years ago because it failed to tuck into savannah grass after climate change hit its preferred diet of forest fruit, scientists suggest.

Gigantopithecus -- the closest Nature ever came to producing a real King Kong -- weighed five times as much as an adult man and probably stood three metres (nine feet) tall, according to sketchy estimates.

In its heyday a million years ago, it inhabited semi-tropical forests in southern China and mainland Southeast Asia.

Until now, though, almost nothing was known about the giant's anatomical shape or habits.

The only fossil records are four partial lower jaws, and perhaps a thousand teeth -- the first of which turned up in the 1930s in Hong Kong apothecaries where they were sold as "dragon's teeth."

These meagre remains "are clearly insufficient to say if the animal was bipedal or quadrupedal, and what would be its body proportions," Herve Bocherens, a researcher at Tübingen University in Germany, told AFP.

Its closest modern cousin is the orangutan, but whether Gigantopithecus had the same golden-red hue, or was black like a gorilla is unknown.

Another mystery: its diet. Was it a meat-eater or a vegetarian? Did it share a taste for bamboo with its neighbour the prehistoric giant panda?

Answering this riddle might also tell us why a monster that surely had little to fear from other fauna went extinct.

- Adapt or die -

That's where the teeth had a story to tell.

Examining slight variations in carbon isotopes found in tooth enamel, Bocherens and an international team of scientists showed that the primordial King Kong lived only in the forest, was a strict vegetarian, and probably wasn't crazy about bamboo.

These narrow preferences did not pose a problem for Gigantopithecus until Earth was struck by a massive ice age during the Pleistocene Epoch, which stretched from about 2.6 million to 12,000 years ago.
That's when Nature, evolution -- and perhaps a refusal to try new foods -- conspired to doom the giant ape, Bocherens explained.

"Due to its size, Gigantopithecus presumably depended on a large amount of food," he said.

"When during the Pleistocene, more and more forested area turned into savannah landscapes, there was simply an insufficient food supply."

And yet, according to the study, other apes and early humans in Africa that had comparable dental gear were able to survive similar transitions by eating the leaves, grass and roots offered by their new environments.

But for some reason, Asia's giant ape -- which was probably too heavy to climb trees, or swing in their branches -- did not make the switch.

"Gigantopithecus probably did not have the same ecological flexibility and possibly lacked the physiological ability to resist stress and food shortage," notes the study, which is to be published in a specialist journal, Quaternary International.  

Whether the mega-ape could have adapted to a changing world but didn't, or whether it was doomed by climate and its genes, is probably one mystery that will never be solved.

Climate change several hundred thousand years ago was also likely responsible for the disappearance of many other large animals from the Asians continent.
Source: AFP

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today why the real king kong became extinct Arab Today, arab today why the real king kong became extinct

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to present her new collection

GMT 14:29 2017 Monday ,20 February

Prepares to present her new collection
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today 11 family members dead in rebel push

GMT 07:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

11 family members dead in rebel push
Arab Today, arab today To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 17:53 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Mohammed Bin Talha: My prize for all Moroccan poets

GMT 19:21 2017 Friday ,17 February

Abu Zeid Al-Idrisi warns of decline of reading

GMT 23:00 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Yazidis celebrate “Khader Elias” religious holiday

GMT 21:41 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Moroccan parties have electoral concerns

GMT 13:54 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Churchill's search for ET

GMT 15:48 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Ministry always supports Moroccan intellectuals

GMT 18:14 2017 Monday ,13 February

Algerian artist inherited the talent to draw on glass
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار ثقافة
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today 57 monkeys carrying 'invasive' genes

GMT 16:00 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

57 monkeys carrying 'invasive' genes
Arab Today, arab today 63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby
Arab Today, arab today Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing

GMT 06:34 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars

GMT 21:11 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 14:51 2017 Monday ,20 February

Ways to acquire presentation skills

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 13:16 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

First fashion model with Down syndrome
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday