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The discovery of fossils unravels the mystery of how pandas became vegetarians.

The discovery of panda fossils in China reveals the mystery of how giant species developed “fake thumbs” and became the only devoted vegetarian in the bear family. Helped to solve.

An approximately 6 million-year-old fossil found in Yunnan Province in southwestern China contained a greatly enlarged wrist bone called radial sesamoid bone.

Scientists have stated in a research paper published in the latest edition of Scientific Reports that it is the oldest known evidence that modern giant pandas can grab and break heavy bamboo stalks.

The fossil belongs to the now extinct ancient relatives of the panda called Ailurarcto, who lived in China 6 to 8 million years ago.

“The giant panda … is a rare case of a large carnivore with a short carnivorous gastrointestinal tract … it has become a dedicated herbivore,” said the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Says Wang Xiaoming, the curator of. He said.

“Ailurarctos’ false thumbs show for the first time possible timings and steps in the evolution of panda bamboo feeding.”

For about a century, researchers have known about the fake thumb of a panda, which behaves like a human thumb. However, the lack of fossil evidence left unanswered questions about when and how the extra numbers not found in other bears evolved.

“The giant panda’s fake thumb is the least elegant and dexterous, but even a small protruding lump on the wrist can be a good help to prevent the bamboo from slipping off a bent finger,” Wang said. Is writing.

The fossil found near Zhaotong City in the north of Yunnan contained a fake thumb that was longer than that found in modern pandas, but had no inner hook on the edge.

According to the paper, the hooks around the base of the thumb and the thick pads “have to bear a considerable weight burden” and have evolved over time.

Pandas exchanged a high-protein, omnivorous diet of their ancestors with bamboo, which is low in nutrients available all year round in southern China, millions of years ago.

They eat up to 15 hours a day, and adult pandas can consume 45 kg of bamboo a day. Although their diet is predominantly vegetarian, wild pandas are sometimes known to hunt small animals.

Last updated: July 3, 2022 10:40 am

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/720386/Fossil-discovery-solves-mystery-of-how-pandas-beca The discovery of fossils unravels the mystery of how pandas became vegetarians.

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