Hi, Mr. Nature here, with a really cool prehistoric creature that ought to get at least a cameo appearance in a Bell Mountain book. Maybe the next one.
Gigantopithecus (“Giant ape”) lived long ago in Southeast Asia. About a hundred years ago, some of its enormous teeth were discovered in Chinese drugstores, where they were sold to be ground up for medicine. To this day all we have of its remains are a bunch of teeth and some bits of jawbone, but the reconstruction is hopefully somewhere near the mark, because these pieces strongly resemble the corresponding pieces in modern great apes. Only much, much bigger! Scientists believe a full-grown Gigantopithecus probably stood ten feet tall. Shades of King Kong.
For a while it was believed those teeth once belonged to gigantic human beings, albeit of a primitive form. Well, that’s Evolution for you. But as Gertrude Stein might say, “A Gigantopithecus is a Gigantopithecus is a Gigantopithecus.” God doesn’t create living things that are on their way to becoming something else. They’re all right just as they are. And all we can say for certain is that there probably aren’t any more of them. Probably.
What must it have been like to see one of these coming your way down a path in the jungle? I don’t think you’d easily forget it!