Potassiumargon dating early human fossils

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Differences among them suggest that Asia may once have been home to several species of Gigantopithecus, probably related to Siva- pithecus.

Estimates of the giant ape’s size cover a broad range.

Although they typically walk on four legs, as monkeys do, they can also walk upright on two legs, and they sometimes do this for short distances. Paleontologists trace their grad- ual appearance among various kinds of primates they call stem apes or ape- like primates.

One of the oldest known candidates for apehood is Proconsul.

Interestingly, the proportions of its hands—the length of the thumb relative to the fingers—were closer to those of humans than to apes.

The scientific jury is still out on whether Proconsul was a true ape.

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Could encounters with surviving Gigantos be the source of folklore about apemanlike creatures such as Yeti in the Himalayan region and Sasquatch or Bigfoot in North America? For one thing, no proof exists that Yeti and Bigfoot are real.

Most early primates were probably nocturnal, or active at night.

Their eyes were bigger and their noses were smaller than those of the ancestral mammals, showing that the primates relied more on sight and less on scent.

By 17 to 15 million years ago, primates existed that paleontologists can definitely identify as apes.

In fact, so many fossil apes are known from the AMONG THE PRIMATES 37 Proconsul, a possible ancestor of apes, lived in Africa approximately 20 million years ago.

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