Why are pandas vegetarian?

Why are pandas vegetarian?

The fossils, about six million years old, were discovered in Yunnan province in southwestern China. Between them is an especially large wrist bone, called radial sesamoid.

This is the oldest proof of the existence of a “sixth finger” in the giant pandawhich allowed it to grab and break thick bamboo stems, the researchers note in the latest issue of the journal Scientific Reports.

These fossils belong to an ancestor of the panda called Ailurarctos, now extinct, which lived in China between six and eight million years ago.

The giant panda is (…) a rare case of a large carnivore (…) that became a herbivore

“The giant panda is … a rare case of a large carnivore … becoming a herbivore,” said Wang Xiaoming, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. .

“The ‘false thumb’ of the Ailurarctos shows (…) for the first time the chronology and the probable stages of the evolution of the bamboo feeding on pandas“, he added.

Although the existence of the “false thumb” has been known to researchers for about a century, fossil evidence of this bone sheds light on several long-unanswered questions, including how and when this additional finger, which does not exist in humans, evolved. no other bear.

Millions of years ago, pandas changed the omnivorous, high-protein diet of their ancestors for the nutrient-poor bamboo available year-round in southern China.

Pandas eat up to 15 hours a day and an adult panda can consume 45 kilos of bamboo daily.. Although their diet is mainly vegetarian, giant pandas are also known to occasionally hunt small animals.

Read:  Everything indicates that the world wine trade has started its recovery