Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Giants among us

The realm of hominology has a few new and interesting finds coming out of Russian and a couple of the former Soviet republics.
In case you're wondering, "hominology" is a term coined by Russian researcher Dmitri Bayanov to denote those investigations that study humanity’s as yet-undiscovered near-relatives, including Almas, Yeti, Bigfoot/Sasquatch, and other unknown hominids.  Shall we continue?  Thanks.

There appears to be evidence of giants among us.  Just yesterday, famed cryptid researcher, Loren Coleman posted this story on his site, Cryptomundo.  Along with the article came startling photographs from Russian researchers, photographs of enormous (19 inches long), four-toed, human-like footprint casts that dwarf even casts of supposed Bigfoot and Alma tracks.  Naturally this all leads into a new book by Coleman and Mark Hall called, True Giants: Is Gigantopithecus Still Alive?  The book supposedly contains accounts of sightings as well as evidence unearthed by Russian researchers.

Coleman is a good guy...and I'm not just saying that because he's an Illinois native.  He researches cases thoroughly and is not prone to exaggerating for drama's sake.  Therefore, if he is talking about the possible existence of an isolated population of Gigantopithecus, I'm listening.
For those of you who might not know, Gigantopithecus is thought to be the largest ape ever to have lived.  To the best of my knowledge, only the fossilized remains of jaws and teeth from Gigantopithecus have ever been found, but anthropologists have extrapolated from the jaws that the creature must have been close to 10 feet tall and weighed just over 1,000 pounds.  That's big.
It would also explain why there seems to be no sign of Bigfoot in the fossil record.  There is record, it's just called Gigantopithecus.  However, the estimated size of those giants is greater even than your average Bigfoot, according to sightings and footprints that is.  Not only that, but it is thought that a creature of such immense size would place far too much strain on its leg muscles if it walked in an upright, bipedal manner.  Therefore, Giganto was thought to use its knuckles in addition to its legs for locomotion, much as gorillas do.  Again, another difference from Bigfoot.  Could sasquatch and yeti be evolutionary offshoots of Gigantopithecus?  Hominids that adapted to new environments be becoming smaller and faster?  Only time will tell.

Nevertheless, human culture is replete with stories about giants.  Could that be because it turns out humans lived along side Gigantopithecus there for a while?  And if so, could it be that a few of them still survive to this day?  If the folklore and accounts from Asia are any indication, then that might very well be the case.
I'm still not certain if these giants are among us.  It seems that they would stand out rather obviously.  But if their habitat is now confined to secluded locales, that raises a great many new possibilities.  If a population of Gigantopithecus is found, I would also argue that that bolsters the case for the existence of Bigfoot and other yet-to-be-discovered hominids.  
At any rate, we do ourselves a disservice by towing the "don't break the taboo" line of academia which says "if it's not supposed to be there, don't look for it."  I'm just glad folks like Coleman are out there looking.

And by the by, if Gigantopithecus really is still out there, then I must know...so I can do what I can to never run into one of the things in the wild.  Not that I go camping or hiking in Asia all that much, but I just want to take precautions.  Yeesh.

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  1. One thing I heard about Gigantopithecus is that they had a much higher body temperature than other smaller bipedals such as homo sapiens. This means that they would be less adaptable to changing climate conditions and most likely shorten their average life span. Because of their size they would likely require a substantial amount of food which would also limit their evolutionary chances to survive.

    While I always found Gigantopithicis interesting I was always more interested in the Hobbit species or homo floresiensis. These smaller creatures seemed to be more adaptable than Gigantopithecus but obviously their smaller size would be a disadvantage in conflict with larger species like homo sapiens.

    It would be fascinating to learn if either species could have survived until today but given our nature as homo sapiens, we probably would have wiped them both out.

  2. You are correct.
    It seems that nature favors the smaller sized organism as it that one takes a lot less upkeep.
    One similarity that the fossil record shows between dinosaurs and primates is that both kept getting progressively smaller.

    It's funny that you say we would have wiped them out. I guess that's one of the points that the book makes, about how our folklore is full of "giantkillers" and whatnot. Although I have a hard time envisioning Goliath from The Bible as a Gigantopithecus.