Monday, May 23, 2022

Godzilla vs. Kong: Warum Größe nicht alles ist! (Science vs. Fiction feat. @Cinema Strikes Back)

Hello everybody, Jack Pop here. 200 years ago hardly anyone would have believed that such a thing as dinosaurs could have really existed. Animals with a size of 18m. And just like that Today we hardly believe that there can be a giant ape like King Kong. But the question is: Is that really true? Or is a monkey that's several meters tall maybe conceivable and if so, would it look like in the films or maybe completely different? And how would he actually live? In order to clarify this, the question is examined again from two sides. For the fictional and cinematic, we have for the second time our Dearest film nerd Alper from Cinema Strikes Back with us and for the science part today .

We have the biologist and primate researcher Anne-Céline Granjon. Anne-Celine's scientific work is shit. Literally. Because for her doctoral thesis she counted and measured the excrements of mountain gorillas to see how many of them still exist. To do this, she was out and about in the jungle for months. Anne-Céline has a weakness for classical music and historical dances and likes – of course to be outside outside, hiking and exploring nature. Anne-Céline, nice to have you here, I 'm glad. – Hello! Let's see how big real gorillas can actually get. It depends on what kind we are talking about. .

Because there are two. The western gorillas live in central Africa, near the Gulf of Guinea and typically have a red cap on their head. The Eastern Gorillas live in East Africa, in the border area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. They typically have thick fur. These are also the ones We're most likely to find with a google search for wild gorillas. And which of the two types is larger now? The Eastern Gorillas. The males can reach almost 2m, the western gorillas only 1.80m. If look at it on Google now I would say that King Kong is more likely an Eastern Gorilla. Even if it is of course much bigger than 2m. How large .

King Kong exactly is, I don't know. We need the help of Cinema Strikes Back. Alper, please give us an overview. How tall King Kong really is, is hard to say, if ever. Because already in the first movie‚ King Kong, his height changes from scene to scene. The smallest was probably Little Kong, King Kong's son. He is not even 4 meters tall and also in Peter Jacksons King Kong‚ with 7 meters he is rather small. He is significantly bigger in Kong Skull Island with 31m. But it is still growing there. In “Godzilla vs. Kong” he is said to be 102m tall. Many thanks, Alper. That means, we have a big range from 7m to 102m. 102m we can rule out, right? That's nonsense. But if we concentrate on the 7m, that's still more .

Than three times bigger as the normal eastern gorillas. Would King Kong have had a chance to get this big? A giant monkey actually existed. The last find was about 100,000 years ago and it is believed that Gigantopithecus was up to 3m high and weighed 500kg. Unfortunately, you can't say that exactly, because we have only found jaw fragments and teeth so far. But 3m is pretty big. Imagine you have such a giant animal in front of you. Totally! It would also be enough for me to get out of there quickly. So that means that nature actually creates monkeys of a giant scale. And the surprising thing is, it's not that unusual. Today we are surprised .

Of it because large animals tend to be the exception. But if we look at the past, then giant mammals were actually widespread all over the world. And we're not just talking about elephants, giraffes or rhinos, but also about Giant kangaroos or sloths. And of course, giant monkeys. Does that mean, from an evolutionary point of view, a species like King Kong would actually be conceivable? Well, a lot is conceivable. But I think it's rather unlikely, because it also has disadvantages to be large. Yes, I can confirm that. Sometimes being small also has its advantages. So what are the Advantages and disadvantages of animals of certain sizes? .

If the environmental conditions are good and the animals can grow, size has more advantages. Large animals are of course better protected from predators. They can get more food, too, and low-energy foods also, and they can Travel greater distances to look for food. And now we come to the cons. The larger a species becomes, the longer it takes them in order to be able to have offspring at all. They have to grow first. Gorillas, for example, are only able to reproduce after seven to ten years. Dogs after one Year and mosquitoes after two weeks. That means, in the ten years it takes to create one new gorilla generation, there have been ten generations of dogs and 260 generations of mosquitoes. .

So if there is an environmental change, for example a food source breaks down, the climate change or a new predator comes in, then the mosquitoes, in the same time the gorillas take for one generation, have 260 times the chance to get a genetic mutation that helps them. In short: large animals react more slowly to changes, a bit like the Titanic and the Iceberg. Big species can only slowly get on a new genetic course. King Kong has a second problem. If an environmental change or a crisis comes, he cannot get away from the crisis because he is on an island.

Correct. And that of course makes the resources much scarcer. Therefore we usually

.

Observe bigger species on islandsto undergo an island dwarfing. For example there is the island dwarf mammoth, which was hardly larger than 1m. A mammoth of 1m? Yeah, okay, crazy. There still is the Borneo pygmy elephant on the Indonesian island of Borneo. It is definitely 1m smaller than the normal Asian elephants. That means, evolutionary there's point for a giant ape such as King Kong. But Anne-Celine. We are Science vs. Fiction. We have to find a workaround to make it possible anyway. What if the size does not apply for the whole species, but only for King .

Kong as an individual? Due to some incident that happened on the island. The living beings there are all big, without exception. Well, let's speculate wildly for a moment. If his parents were already very big, let's say the size of Gigantopithecus, about 3m, then maybe some disease or genetic defect could have caused him becoming twice as big. Here we come to 6m, But for that we need some more information about King Kong. We can get it, just by asking Alper. You must have some nerd facts for us, don't you? You can find out more about Kong and his whole species in a comic book that tells the prehistory: “Skull Island, The Birth of Kong”. Its species is said to have existed for thousands of years .

On Skull Island, until their natural enemies came to the surface. The Skullcrawlers. in German: Schädelkriecher. They have wiped out all individuals of the species, even Kongs Parents afert Kongs birth. The bones show that they must have beeen pretty big. How big they were exactly and wether Kong may just has been an exceptionally big specimen no one really knows. Eventually, in the “Monster Verse” he is the only living specimen of his kind, ever to be observed. We can also rule out a disease or a genetic defect. Then there must be some other advantages on the island that the animals can get so big there. .

There is also a counterpart to island dwarfing, the so-called island gigantism. Species tend to get bigger, for example around themselves to defend against predators or because of the competition And on Skull Island, King Kong definitely has a lot of competition. And in defense, his species might perhaps have grown. But only if the other species were not that big then and they would have grown together. So that you always have the advantage of being a little bigger than the other species. If, on the contrary, a giant elbow lizard was on the island from the start, then for an animal the size of a gorilla it would be rather advantageous to become smaller. .

In order to hide easier. Well, pitty. Bad chances for a giant gorilla again. But if we just assume, that there is a real King Kong. It is 7m tall and we just say it exists. What implications for its way of life would there be? It would have four problems, that I can think of, that he would have to deal with. There are a lot of other herbivores on the island And I imagine them to get in each others way quite a lot. Herbivores distribute the seed and fertilize the soil with there rambles, but I don't know, if these dead plants can regrow fast enough, to feed .

That many herbivores in the long run. And that was the problem with Gigantopithecus, too. It was also a herbivore and lived in the forest. But with climate change, the forests where he lived shrunk so much that it could no longer find enough food for itself. That's why it died out … Probably. And King Kong has a lot more appetite. What would he have to eat every day? Incredibly much! If we compare it with a gorilla. An adult Male gorilla eats about 30 kg of food per day. That is about 1/8th of his body weight. King Kong is about 2,5 times bigger. But that also means 2,5 times wider and .

2,5 times thicker. This is 15 times more heavier in total. We'd get a weight about 3000 kg. If he eats something like a gorilla then it would mean that he would eat 400 kg of food. Every day. When I think about this for myself, I should eat 1/8th of my body weight, that would be 9 kg of lettuce every day. How about you guys? How much should you have to put on your plates? Write that in the comments. And King Kong would have to wander around quite a bit to do that. In nature the gorillas are already roughly looking for food for twelve hours a day. And there is the question if Skull Island would even be big enough. If you look around, there are maps of it on movie posters .

With these scales for distances. With a rough projection, you get an area of 1.000 square kilometers for the island. Would that even be enough? We can do a small calculation and take the real gorillas as a comparison. There are roughly 1.000 mountain gorillas, living in two areas, Bwindi und Virunga. Together they are about 800 square kilometers. That's about as big as Hamburg. That means each gorilla has about one square kilometer to itself. If we take a Kong, who needs about 15 times as much food, then it would need an area of about 12 square kilometers. That would work well on Skull Island. If we have the 1.000 square kilometers. .

But we're only talking about one Kong here. To be there at all, he needs parents, Grandparents and so on. In short, it would need a population that created it. And if we take Skull Island with 1,000 Square Kilometers, then it would actually only be enough for 100 Kongs. How big would Skull Island then have to be for such a population of 1,000 animals to function in any way? So if we take 1,000, like the mountain gorillas, which is already close I have to say, then it would take about the size of Jamaica. Wow, so much, much, much bigger than we see on the posters or in the films. So King Kong doesn't get a lot to feed and then there are also these physical problems. Correct! King Kong usually runs upright .

As we do. But gravity naturally pulls him down and would he be 7m tall his spine is exposed to enormous amounts of force. Probably his bones wouldn't even stand it. And even if they do, then he probably would have Bad posture, herniated discs or at least back pain. So King Kong would be a complete care case. That would work maybe if for example, he would have much wider bones and also wider muscles. It might fit there. But it would actually be best if he walked on all fours. For that he would also need a missing pad on his feet. .

Just like elephants? Correct. But then the question would come to me, if he walks on all fours what would his hands look like? Can these still be used as hands at all? Can he still grab when everything is so thick? He would definitely look super weird and different from what we get shown in the film now. Totally! His heart would have to pump incredibly strong to supply all organs with oxygen. Gorillas can now only be at peak performance for a relatively short period of time, for example climbing or fighting. A King Kong .

would probably just always be out of
breath.

Okay, so no fighting with primeval lizards or climbing the Empire State Building. Just how it always looks so spectacular in the films. Rather not. Unless its kind has also somehow adapted to it. For example the giraffes. Giraffes are also up to 6m high and somehow they manage it, to let the blood circulate up to the head. For this they have special blood vessels and also special valves in the arteries in the throat to allow blood to come up. That would give King Kong a big heart and very high blood pressure, but he would be relatively healthy. And we know that King Kong has a big heart, at least for women. .

And let's get to the last point. The heat. depicted with a fairly thick fur, a But the mountain gorillas live in the mountains of about 3,000m height. It can get pretty cold there – down to 0 degrees. And therefore you do need a thick skin On Skull Island I would rather imagine that there are typical tropical temperatures, 23 to 30 degrees. There he would be, with that thick fur, just kept way too warm. A lot of other things would help To have a thin fur, for example like the western gorillas. Still, the problem would be if it is so big, then it also has many more cells that produce heat. And King Kong .

Itself has little surface to get this heat out. We've already discussed that in a similar way, namely in our Ant-Man episode. I'll link it to you up here. Only with King Kong it is exactly the other way round. Kong also produces too much heat and should have a thin skin or a Mechanism to release this heat again. Let's summarize: A King Kong of over 100m Size is total nonsense. Even if it looks cool in the film, of course, and the smallest variant with 7m is only plausible if there is an evolutionary cause on Skull Island to make it grow. And of course it only works if .

He had adjusted accordingly. What is certain, however, is that a real King Kong would not really look like in the movies. Thank you for explaining … With pleasure! Thanks to Alper from Cinema Strikes Back, who has rummaged through all of these King Kong films for us. Make a visit over to their channel and leave a few greetings in the comments and please don't forget to subscribe to this channel here and… ring the bell! Then we'll see each other again soon. I'd be happy to! So long! (I'll have a quick look what we're shooting next. Which position) .

(We are in the jungle!) (Dangerous and wild! And soon there will be skull knickers.) (I'm really in a hair situation today. Rain all the time, look at my hair. I need a cordless hair dryer.)

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