/   Home   /   Newsroom   /   News Updates

Research Reveals Giant Pandas' More Diversified Diet 5,000 Years Ago

Feb 02, 2019     Email"> PrintText Size

The "menu" for giant pandas 5,000 years ago might have been more diversified than today, when the black-and-white mammal lived in a wider range of environment besides bamboo forest, according to new research.

Giant panda changed from omnivorous to vegetarian over its 8 million years of evolutionary history. It had been believed that giant pandas shifted to eating just bamboo about 2 million years ago.

But new research by a team of scientists with the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has found that giant pandas hadn't become a specialized bamboo eater until around 5,000 years ago.

"Giant pandas had become herbivores like deer at that time. But it's hard to know what specific plants they ate. We believe there were some herbs in addition to bamboo on their food list," said Wei Fuwen, an academician of CAS and the leader of the research team.

"Giant pandas today also eat herbs occasionally," he added.

Many large animals living in the same epoch as giant panda, such as stegodon, have become extinct. But the giant panda survived through millions of years, probably by constantly altering its diet to cope with the change in the environment, said Wei.

The research was published online in academic journal Current Biology on Thursday. (Xinhua)

(Editor: CHEN Na)

Contact

Phone:
E-mail:

Related Articles

giant panda;bamboo;teeth

Giant Pandas May have Only Recently Switched to Eating Mostly Bamboo

Jan 31, 2019

By Analysing chemical signatures from bones and teeth of both ancient and modern pandas indicate the bears' hyperdependence on bamboo could have developed as recently as about 5,000 years ago.A research group led by Dr. WEI Fuwen from Institute of Zool...

giant panda;conservation;cost;habitat

Research Shows Benefit of Giant Panda Conservation Far Exceeds Cost

Jun 26, 2018

To determine the value of panda conservation, a research team led by Prof. WEI Fuwen from the Institute of Zoology, together with colleagues from other research organizations, cooperated to assess the value of ecosystem services from giant panda reserv...

giant panda;origin

Expert Says Evidence of Giant Pandas' European Origins Lacking

Jan 15, 2018

Canadian and French researchers have discovered the teeth of an ancient animal that resembles a modern-day giant panda during excavations in the Hungarian town of Rudabanya. But Chinese paleontologist HUANG Wanbo from Institute of Vertebrate Paleontolo...

Contact Us

Copyright © 2002 - Chinese Academy of Sciences