At the time Koengiswald was browsing in a medicine shop in Hong Kong, knowing that fossils could often be found in such places, where they were ground up for use in traditional potions.Over the next several years Koenigswald found more huge primate teeth in Chinese pharmacies.By 17 to 15 million years ago, primates existed that paleontologists can definitely identify as apes.
dating of the dead sea scrolls - Potassiumargon dating early human fossils
53 Others compare Gigantopithecus to a full- grown male polar bear: more than 10 feet (3 meters) tall and weighing 1,200 pounds (545 kilograms). Ever since the discovery of Gigantopithecus, people have speculated that small, isolated populations of this giant ape might still be alive.
Could encounters with surviving Gigantos be the source of folklore about apemanlike creatures such as Yeti in the Himalayan region and Sasquatch or Bigfoot in North America? For one thing, no proof exists that Yeti and Bigfoot are real.
Koenigswald decided that his find must have been bigger than any known primate.
He named it Gigantopithecus, or “giant ape.” World War II broke out just then, and Koenigswald, who was working on the South- east Asian island of Java, was captured by the Japanese.
Although they typically walk on four legs, as monkeys do, they can also walk upright on two legs, and they sometimes do this for short distances. Paleontologists trace their grad- ual appearance among various kinds of primates they call stem apes or ape- like primates.
One of the oldest known candidates for apehood is Proconsul.Some experts think it may have been only a little larger than the largest pri- mates alive today, adult male silverback gorillas.52 This would make Giganto about 6 feet tall (under 2 meters), with a weight of about 400 pounds (181.6 kilograms).Fossils of this primate, dating from around 20 million years ago, have been found in the East African nation of Kenya.Proconsul had both monkeylike and apelike features.grasp things—on all four feet; flat nails rather than claws on at least some of their digits; a brain that is large for their overall body size; and eyes that are large and set facing forward in the front of the face.