The Largest Great Ape To Ever Live Went Extinct Because Of Climate Change

"WASHINGTON — An ancient species of great ape was likely driven to extinction when climate change put their favorite fruits out of reach during dry seasons, scientists reported Wednesday.

The species Gigantopithecus blacki, which once lived in southern China, represents the largest great ape known to scientists — standing 10 feet tall and weighing up to 650 pounds.

But its size may also have been a weakness.

“It’s just a massive animal – just really, really big,” said Renaud Joannes-Boyau, a researcher at Australia’s Southern Cross University and co-author of the study published in the journal Nature. “When food starts to be scarce, it’s so big it can’t climb trees to explore new food sources.”"

Christina Larson reports for the Associated Press January 10, 2024.

Source: AP, 01/11/2024