King Kong may have been more real than Hollywood ever imagined! The 80 year puzzle of the gigantic ape, measuring around 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds (85 stone), and believed to have co-existed alongside humans is almost complete.
Jack Rink, a geochronologist at McMaster University in Ontario, has used a high-precision absolute-dating (techniques involving electron spin resonance and uranium series) method to determine that this ape — the largest primate ever — roamed Southeast Asia for nearly a million years before the species died out 100,000 years ago during the Pleistocene period. By this time, humans had existed for at least a million years, so they would more than likely have encountered Gigantopithecus blackii!
Research began in 1935, when the Dutch palaeontologist G.H. von Koenigswald discovered a yellowish molar among the “dragon bones” of a Hong Kong pharmacy (Traditional Chinese medicine maintains that dragon bones, basically any fossil bones and teeth, possess curative powers when ground into a fine powder, and ingested).
Since the original discovery, scientists have been able to slowly piece together a description of Gigantopithecus using just a handful of teeth and a set of jawbones.
“A missing piece of the puzzle has always focused on pin-pointing when Gigantopithecus existed,” Rink said. “This is a primate that co-existed with humans at a time when humans were undergoing a major evolutionary change. The Guangxhi province in southern China, where some of the Gigantopithecus fossils were found, is the same region where some believe the modern human race originated.”
While most scientists agree that Gigantopithecus died out long ago, some people Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti enthusiasts in particular — believe that this ape is the source of tales of giant, hairy beasts roaming the woods. These claims are not considered credible by mainstream scientists, but there have been cases in which creatures are first known by their fossil remains and later found living.
Gigantic Apes Coexisted with Early Humans Live Science