Pandas Were Meat Eaters Earlier, Now They Sit And Eat Bamboo

The panda bear is all soo cute and cuddly, lazily lying around trees and munching on leaves. The whole world goes gaga over Panda videos on...

The panda bear is all soo cute and cuddly, lazily lying around trees and munching on leaves. The whole world goes gaga over Panda videos on the internet. The Chinese native bear is called as 'Big Bear Cat' in Mandarin. The most distinctive of the bear species is the White and Black bear with black patches around its eyes as their standout feature. But these plant-eating bears were Carnivores a Thousand Years ago.

Ancestors of today's cuddly bears were fierce carnivores. The not so fussy bamboo eaters today, still have the digestive ability to eat meat. They can still occasionally eat meat. But are not fierce anymore. Just pure balls of fur. The evolution process of the pandas was not straight from meat to plant.

In fact, Pandas themselves kicked out the meat diet and have turned into Herbivores or Vegetarians. They used to eat all types of plants, but now in a twist of the movement they have ditched all other plants, and eating only Bamboo. They have become 'Bamboorians' or 'Bambooroos'.

Chinese Academy of Sciences has conducted a study on this matter and have concluded this. " It has been widely accepted that giant pandas have exclusively fed on bamboo for the last two million years. Our results showed the opposite". 

The study was thus conducted by examining and digging out the remnants of giant panda's ancestors. Their teeth, hair and bones are studied in detail for the changes in the pattern of isotopes involved. The stable isotope ratios are taken into consideration, which reveals their then habitat, environmental conditions and even their diet.

The present-day panda data of isotope is compared with the isotopes collected from ancestorial remnants of pandas from 5,000 to 7,000 yrs ago. Their comparison has shown a difference and thus reveals that they had dietary changes.

But, this still does not explain why they have come down to Eating Only Bamboo. Which is not a nutritious food and so they have to eat about 12 to 36 kilograms of the plant. This resulting them to have a low metabolism rate, and a very lazy lifestyle.

Ending it on a need to have a further study, scientist says, " We need to get more samples from different years after 5,000 years ago, but it is hard to do this. Maybe it is a complicated [mix of] climate change, human encroachment and species competition for resources". 

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All India Daily: Pandas Were Meat Eaters Earlier, Now They Sit And Eat Bamboo
Pandas Were Meat Eaters Earlier, Now They Sit And Eat Bamboo
All India Daily
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