Giant pandas may have only recently switched to eating mostly bamboo

The switch to a bamboo diet occurred some 5,000 years ago, not 2 million years ago as thought

panda bear

BAMBOO FANATIC  Although giant pandas are well equipped for chowing down on bamboo — including having a special “thumb” used to hold stalks — these bears weren’t always this specialized. In fact, their bamboo obsession may have occurred in only the last 5,000 years.

Aldo Manganaro/istock.com

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Animals

From the Nature Index

Paid Content