Remains of extinct giant apes found in Vietnam

By Nhu Quynh   August 25, 2023 | 06:31 pm PT
Remains of extinct giant apes found in Vietnam
Dental remains of giant apes found in Lang Trang Cave in Thanh Hoa Province in southern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Scientists have found the dental remains of an extinct giant ape species in Thanh Hoa Province in central Vietnam.

The findings are the only such remains of the Pleistocene epoch to have ever been found in Vietnam.

The research was done by experts from the Borissiak Paleontological Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, as well as the Joint Russian-Vietnamese Tropical Scientific and Technological Center in Hanoi.

From 2020 to 2022, scientists had performed surveys at Lang Trang Cave in Thanh Hoa’s Ba Phuoc District, where they found two dental remains of the giant ape (Gigantopithecus blacki).

These are among the latest dental remains recorded among extinct species from around 125,000 years ago.

According to the Center, scientists had analyzed the dental remains in Lang Trang Cave and found that their characteristics were similar to that of the G. blacki.

The mammal Gigantopithecus was one of the largest primates ever to walk the Earth and could have weighed around 200-300 kg.

These giant apes often lived in the forests of Southeast Asia before going extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago. Their fossils are incredibly rare and hard to find, with some ancient remains found in the limestone caves of south China.

Besides the remains of the giant apes, scientists have also found the remains of 41 other species in Lang Trang Cave, including monkeys, leopards, bats, rhinos, and boars.

Lang Trang Cave is a limestone cave that became famous after the fossils of prehistoric humans and other animal species were found inside it.

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