Gigantopithecus (name meaning "Gigantic Ape") is a genus of ape that originated during the Late Miocene epoch in what is now Asia. Standing almost 4 meters tall and weighing over 1200 pounds, Gigantopithecus was the largest species of primate to ever live, having been described as the "real-life King Kong".
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Gigantopithecus lived in India, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia during the Late Miocene epoch, around 9 million years ago, and lived up until the Middle Pleistocene epoch, about 100 thousand years ago. However, like with Megalodon, some scientists believe Gigantopithecus could still be alive today. Places like Asia as well as North America have given Gigantopithecus several nicknames, such as "Big-Foot" or "Sasquatch" as well as the "Abominable Snowman", or the "Yeti".
The first Gigantopithecus remains described by an anthropologist were found in 1935 by Ralph von Koenigswald in an apothecary shop. Gigantopithecus blacki was named in honor of the friend and colleague of von Koenigswald, Davidson Black, and is known only through fossil teeth and mandibles found in cave sites in South China and Vietnam.
Often referred to as "the real King Kong", Gigantopithecus is literally the largest primate of all time. On average, large males stand 12 feet (3.7 m) tall and weigh 540 kg (1,200 lbs.) and had darker colored fur. Females were a little smaller, standing 9.8 feet (3 m) tall and weighing 450 kg (1,000 lbs.). as well as having orange-colored fur similar to an Orangutan. However, one colossal individual stood 15 feet tall and weighed close to 1 ton (2,000 lbs.)
Additionally, Gigantopithecus was immensely strong, able to lift fallen trees and toss aside fairly-sized vehicles. They were also incredibly fast and agile, able to swing from tree branches, keep pace with slow-moving pterosaurs, and leap great heights and distances.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Gigantopithecus lived in fairly large groups, which were lead by an alpha male. They lived in anything from treetops to caves and even on mountaintops. One food Gigantopithecus enjoyed eating was bamboo trees.
Despite being apes, Giganopithecus is described as being more aggressive and dangerous than gorillas. Surprisingly, these apes are also omnivorous. Though most of the time they are herbivorous, they will occasionally eat carrion to supplement their diet, much like the South America giant ground sloth Megatherium. Additionally, though these primates were quadrupeds and therefore walked on their knuckles like all apes, they are also capable of being bipeds, running and walking upright. However, they run faster when they are on all fours.
- The sound effects for Gigantopithecus are that of gorilla sounds used in movies like Legend of Tarzan, King Kong, and Rampage as well as the sound effects of large cats (lion, tiger, leopard).
- Gigantopithecus is the largest ape to be brought to the park.