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Yeren


Gigantopithecus ("giant ape") was a large ape that might have been able to walk bipedally. It lived in China, India, and other parts of southeast Asia. There are a total of three species of Gigantopithecus, the most famous being Gigantopithecus blacki. It is believed that this animal ate bamboo as do pandas and was a relative of the orangutan of Sumatra and Borneo. It live alongside a species of primitive man known as Homo habilis that lived in Asia at the same time, 4 - 1 million years ago. Some have suggested that this ape still exists, stalking the Himalayas as the Yeti and the bamboo forests of China as the Yeren. Some researchers take this even further by suggesting it crossed the Bering Land Bridge into North America, establishing itself as the well-known Sasquatch, or Bigfoot.

The first Gigantopithecus remains described by an anthropologist were found in 1935 by Ralph von Koeningswald in an apothecary shop. Fossilized teeth and bones are often ground into powder and used in some branches of Traditional Chinese medicine. Von Koenigswald named the theorized species Gigantopithecus.

Since then relatively few fossils of Gigantopithecus have been recovered. Aside from the molars recovered in Chinese traditional medicine shops, Liucheng Cave in Liuzhou, China has produced numerous Gigantopithecus blacki teeth as well as several jawbones. Other sites yielding significant finds were in Vietnam and India. These finds suggest the range of Gigantopithecus was southeast Asia.

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