Temporal range: Pleistocene
|An artist's illustration of Gigantopithecus blacki|
von Koenigswald, 1935
Gigantopithecus was a genus of ape that existed from 1 to 5 million years ago in what is today the countries of China and India. The fossil record suggests that the Gigantopithecus species were the largest apes that ever lived. It was a quadruped and an herbivore and probably had a diet that consisted primarily of bamboo. Although it is not known why Gigantopithecus died out, researchers believe that climate change and resource competition with better adapted species were the main reasons.
Based on the slim fossil evidence, Gigantopithecus was likely near ten feet tall and weighed from 700 to 1200 lb — 2 to 3 times larger than gorillas, although its closest living relatives are the orangutans. Some cryptozoologists have claimed that a race of gigantopithecines are the legendary primates known in various geographic locations as Bigfoot, Yeren or Yeti.
In the Media
- Gigantopithecus is a creature in Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals.
- Gigantopithecus is a limited edition creature in Jurassic Park: Builder. It is portrayed as a carnivore when in reality, it was an herbivore that occasionally ate insects.
- In the 2012 film Ice Age: Continental Drift, the pirate Captain Gutt (voiced by Peter Dinklage) is presented as a Gigantopithecus.
- It appears in ARK: Survival Evolved as a completly biped when it likely walked on its' knucles like most apes.
- In the 2016 live-action adaptation of The The Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau, King Louie is portrayed as a Bornean orangutan-resembling Gigantopithecus (as his original orangutan incarnations never inhabited India) and voiced by actor Christopher Walken.