Gigantopithecus's method of locomotion is uncertain, as no pelvic or leg bones have been found. The dominant view is that it walked on all fours like modern gorillas and chimpanzees; however, a minority opinion favors bipedal locomotion. This was most notably championed by the late Grover Krantz, but this assumption is based only on the very few jawbone remains found, all of which are U-shaped and widen towards the rear. This allows room for the windpipe to be within the jaw, allowing the skull to sit squarely on a fully erect spine as in modern humans, rather than roughly in front of it, as in the other great apes.
The majority view is that the weight of such a large, heavy animal would put enormous stress on the creature's legs, ankles, and feet if it walked bipedally; while if it walked on all four limbs, like gorillas, its weight would be better distributed over each limb.
Based on the fossil evidence, adult male Gigantopithecus blacki are believed to have stood about 3 m (9.8 ft) tall and weighed as much as 540–600 kg (1,190–1,320 lb), making the species three to four times as heavy as modern gorillas and seven to eight times as heavy as the orangutan, its closest living relative. Large males may have had an armspan of over 3.6 m (11.8 ft). The species was highly sexually dimorphic, with adult females roughly half the weight of males. Because of wide interspecies differences in the relationship between tooth and body size, some argue that it is more likely that adult male Gigantopithecus blacki were much smaller, at roughly 1.8–2 m (5.9–6.6 ft) in height and 180–300 kg (400–660 lb) in weight.
Its appearance is not known, because of the fragmentary nature of its fossil remains. It possibly resembled modern gorillas, because of its supposedly similar lifestyle. Some scientists, however, think it probably looked more like its closest modern relative, the orangutan.
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