Unravelling the mystery of the mighty ape's last stand (ARC Discovery Project administered by Macquarie University) (2017–2019)
This project will provide critical new insights into the fate of primates in southern Asia, where evidence for
megafaunal extinction is rare. The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Gigantopithecus blacki, the largest
ever primate, has never been resolved despite contemporaneous human survival in the region. Applying multiple
dating techniques modelled across key sites to identify a precise extinction window will enable a focused
comparison of behaviour and past environmental conditions to determine why the ape failed and man persevered.
This will generate a new understanding of past environmental change as a driver of megafaunal extinction in
comparison with human adaption and survival.