Smaller ancestor of giant panda found in China

This video is about a giant panda doing a handstand.

From The Independent in South Africa:

By Will Dunham

Washington – About two million years ago, in lowland tropical forests of what is now China, lived an ancestor of the giant panda that was very similar to the famed vegetarian bear except about half the size, scientists said.

Writing on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists described a complete skull and teeth of a pygmy-sized panda, shedding light on the origins of this unique, bamboo-munching bear.

The skull is about 60 percent of the size of a modern giant panda’s and it has similar anatomical features, suggesting a similar lifestyle, they said.

‘It’s basically a miniaturised version of the living panda’

The extinct bear, named Ailuropoda microta, is the earliest known member of the panda lineage, said Russell Ciochon, a University of Iowa anthropologist and one of the researchers.

See also here.

And here.

Mandible of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) compared with other Chinese carnivores: functional adaptation: here.

5 thoughts on “Smaller ancestor of giant panda found in China

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