Our Ancestor Killed the Last Yeti Alive

Posted by on January 10th, 2012


Over 10,000 years ago a creature stalked the Tibetan landscape. 10 foot tall, weighing in at over 1,200 pounds, this lumbering herbivore moved like a massive version of a modern Orangutan. His name was Gigantopithecus and his species is a likely starting point for the Yeti and Bigfoot legends propagated even today.

And the blood of this noble creature stains the honor of our evolutionary ancestry.

Before we get to that, let’s back up a bit. Gigantopithecus has been on our radar since 1935 when a German paleoanthropologist was sold a far larger than normal molar at a bizarre in Hong Kong. Since then, a variety of dental records have been gathered to give us a better idea of what this massive beast was. As to the question of how it went extinct, there are a few theories.

Zhang’s team suggested the rise of the Tibetan plateau 1.6 million to 800,000 years ago altered the climate of South Asia, ushering in a colder, drier period when forests shrank. Other factors could have exacerbated this crisis. Gigantopithecus‘s neighbor, Homo erectus, may have over-hunted and/or outcompeted their larger ape cousin.

Homo erectus, a key link in the chain of life that brings to this point today, reading The Internet instead of working. They killed Gigantopithecus. They killed the Yeti.


2 Responses to “Our Ancestor Killed the Last Yeti Alive”

  1. mxyzptlk Says:

    …or did they…?

  2. mxyzptlk Says:

    …or did they…?