Pandas are crap. You might think that being good at being a panda would be a fairly important trait for a panda to possess, but sadly these beautiful animals are victims of evolutionary history. Giant pandas are members of the bear family, and they evolved from a common ancestor with other bears during the late Pleistocene, approximately , years ago. Bears are members of the Ursidae family, within the order Carnivora, and as the name suggests, almost all bears are meat-eaters.
Why Do Pandas Have Thumbs?
Tracing the origin of the panda's thumb.
We receive a small percentage of sales made through them at no extra cost to the reader. For more information see our privacy page. The giant panda is a worldwide symbol of conservation. The Giant Panda Ailuropoda melanoluca is one of eight bear species in the world.
Repost: Life in the Trees Shaped the Panda's Thumb
All rights reserved. With so many creatures jockeying for your attention and perhaps chasing you down for lunch , you might well miss the creature shown here. Most big carnivorous mammals of the time were restricted to the ground; some may have been able to climb up tree trunks and onto bigger boughs.
We investigate the relative development of the carnivoran radial sesamoids to untangle the evolution of this iconic structure. In the pandas both giant and red , this 'false thumb' is known to perform a grasping role during bamboo feeding in both the red and giant pandas. An original locomotor role has been inferred for ailurids, but this remains to be ascertained for ursids. A large sample of radial sesamoids of Indarctos arctoides from the Miocene of Batallones-3 Spain indicates that this early ailuropodine bear displayed a relatively hypertrophied radial sesamoid, with a configuration more similar to that of the red panda and other carnivorans than to that of giant pandas. This false thumb is the first evidence of this feature in the Ursidae, which can be linked to a more herbivorous diet.