Forum Scientiarum

Gigantopithecus: Life and Death of a Giant Ape

Prof. Dr. Hervé Bocherens

How did the giant ape
Gigantopithecus live and become extinct? A palaeobiological investigation will show how the use of new scientific approaches helped to provide answers to these questions. The results indicate that these large primates lived in forests, where they obtained their food resources. Gigantopithecus was purely vegetarian, but not a specialized bamboo-feeder. Isotopic analyses of fossil tooth enamel showed that these apes were restricted to forested areas. The probably largest ape ever most probably went extinct due to its lack of ecological flexibility.