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Why do so many pandas munch so much bamboo? Experts have an answer

Particularly because of their wide eyes, they remind us of infants (the eyes are not that particularly big but the black patches around their eyes make them appear larger) big heads, snub noses, and round faces.

Although anime fans are better familiar with these creatures, have you ever wondered when these adorable Kung Fu cuties started eating bamboo? Researchers have an answer.

Pandas have been consuming bamboo for six million years, according to recent research by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

Researchers discovered that the bear’s forebears also possessed a sixth digit’ that resembled a thumb to hold their preferred meal after analyzing a new fossil.

According to the study, this characteristic was also present in the late Miocene epoch in the ancestor panda species Ailurarctos.

The oldest evidence of the appendage is substantially older than the 100,000–150,000 years that prior study estimated the first evidence of the thumb-like feature to have existed.

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According to paleontologist Professor Xiaoming Wang, who examined the wrist bone of an individual from the ancestral panda genus Ailurarctos, “Deep in the bamboo forest, giant pandas traded an omnivorous diet of meat and berries to quietly consuming bamboos, a plant abundant in the subtropical forest but of low nutrient value.”

Pandas must consume between 26 and 84 pounds of it daily to survive. They are found mostly in temperate forests high in the mountains of southwest China.

A baby panda is roughly the size of a stick of butter, but as adults, females may reach weights of up to 200 pounds and males can reach weights of up to 300 pounds, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Perhaps the most important adaptation to eating a tremendous amount of bamboo, he continued, is tightly gripping the stems and crushing them into bite-sized pieces.

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