Which ends with a question... Why do pandas eat mostly bamboo?
Fossil records show pandas going mostly veg somewhere between 7 and 2 million years ago.
That helps answer the question of when pandas switched to their bamboo diet, but not why. "Nobody knows how they got involved [with a] bamboo diet and how they fixed this behaviour in the species," said Wang. "That will be a big deal in evolution if somebody give a real answer."
Post by Pincho Paxton on Sept 2, 2013 16:45:47 GMT
..and now for a rather unique answer: It seems to me that Panda camouflage has hit a brick wall. The two black eyes, and black ears seem to be locked in a time warp. I therefore conclude that Panda's used to have variations in their patterns... and get this... stripes. I believe that Pandas used to have the striped patterns of Zebras, and also some would have the large patches like Pandas do today. In humans we have people that will not kill other animals, and in Pandas those with the patches were too obvious to sneak up on other animals. Those with the stripes would sit in the bamboo, and wait...
...when along came food, the striped Pandas would then attack unseen from the bamboo, too slow to chase, but well camouflaged to jump out. The striped Pandas would then share the food with the patched Pandas. The patched Pandas evolved not to attack, but to sit in the bamboo. The striped Pandas were killers, but risked being killed. Eventually the striped Pandas were killed off, and the patched Pandas just sat in the bamboo until they got hungry. Then before starving to death would start eating the bamboo. Now you have patched Pandas that eat bamboo, and the stripes have become extinct. The patched Pandas would prefer striped Pandas to mate with, because striped Pandas bought in the food, and are not so willing to mate with other patched Pandas. So a good test would be to put stripes on a patched Panda, and see if they become a more interesting mate.