Other Origins: The Search for the Giant Ape in Human Prehistory

Russell Ciochon, Author, John Olsen, Author, Jamie James, Author Bantam Books $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-07081-1
Our direct ancestor, Homo erectus , had close ties to a 10-foot-tall, 1200-pound ape called Gigantopithecus. Fossil remains of the two species have been found together in caves in Vietnam and China. New light was thrown on these discoveries in 1989 when Ciochon, a University of Iowa paleoanthropologist, and Olsen, an archeologist at the University of Arizona, participated in a U.S./Vietnamese expedition that unearthed the oldest dated Homo erectus fossils in southeast Asia. In this engaging field report, they present compelling evidence, long ignored in the West, that the primate order originated in Asia and that the first humans may have evolved there prior to, or parallel with, hominid evolution in Africa. Writing with an assist from Discover ex-staffer James, they speculate on why Giganto became extinct. The book's weakest section is an attempt to explain Bigfoot, Sasquatch and yeti sightings as products of a primal memory traceable to mankind's earliest contacts with Gigantopithecus. Illustrated. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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