Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yes, Virginia, There is a King Kong

While this National Geographic article is a couple years old, I just stumbled on to it, and thought it too amazing to not post.

Reading the article I couldn't help but imagine that moment when German scientist Ralph von Koenigswald discovered the first remnant of this giant ape species (Gigantopithecus blacki) only a few years after the discovery of the famous Peking man (or the infamous Peking man, according to some creationists, whose outrage is nicely dissected (and I think inarguably refuted) in this article). I think it's fair to guess Ralf scientifically pissed himself.

As the article from National Geographic points out, and this overview of Gigantopithecus concludes, there is plenty left to debate about just how massive these beasts were, and hopefully far more data to collect, but as Russell Ciochon (The University of Iowa scientist quoted extensively in the National Geographic article) remarks, the fact that these creatures roamed Southeast Asia at the same time as early man makes them an inescapable source of fascination.

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