HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
UI anthropologist, colleagues discover remains of earliest giant panda

Although it may sound like an oxymoron, a University of Iowa anthropologist and his colleagues report the first discovery of a skull from a "pygmy-sized" giant panda -- the earliest-known ancestor of the giant panda -- that lived in south China some two million years ago.

The ancestor of today's giant panda really was a pygmy giant panda, says Russell Ciochon, UI professor of anthropology. Ciochon (pronounced schuh-HON) is a co-author of an article published in the June 18-22 online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Previous discoveries of teeth and other remains made between 1985 and 2002 had failed to establish the animal's size.

Ciochon says that the ancient panda (formally known as Ailuropoda microta, or "pygmy giant panda") was probably about three feet in length, compared to the modern giant panda, which averages in excess of five feet in length. Also, like it's modern counterpart, it lived on bamboo shoots, as indicated by wear patterns recorded on teeth and specialized muscle markings, indicating heavy chewing, on the skull.

The new find, made about 18 months ago in a south China karst (limestone) cave by Chinese researchers and co-authors Changzhu Jin and Jinyi Liu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, shows that the basic anatomy of the giant panda has remained largely unchanged for millions of years.

Ciochon says that the skull --, about one-half the size of a modern-day giant panda skull, but anatomically very similar -- indicates that the giant panda has evolved for more than three million years as a separate lineage apart from other bears and was adapted to eating bamboo very early in its development.

Pandas are very unique bears - the only bear species that is known to exist wholly on a vegetarian diet, says Ciochon. The evolution of this unique dietary specialization probably took millions of years to refine. Our new discovery shows the great time depth of
'"/>

Contact: Gary Galluzzo
gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu
319-384-0009
University of Iowa
18-Jun-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Shilatifard and colleagues identify a potential target for treatment of mixed lineage leukemia
2. New, more direct pathways from outside the cell-to-cell nuclei discovered
3. deCODE discovers cause of major subtype of glaucoma
4. Weizmann Institute scientists discover a control mechanism for metastasis
5. Penn researchers discover how key protein stops inflammation
6. In a first, Einstein scientists discover the dynamics of transcription in living mammalian cells
7. Biologists at Tufts University discover 1 reason why chromosomes break, often leading to cancer
8. Penn researchers discover pathway that eliminates genetic defects in red blood cells
9. A new brake on cellular energy production discovered
10. New target for HIV/AIDS drugs and vaccine discovered
11. Surprising new species of light-harvesting bacterium discovered in Yellowstone

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/1/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... completed the purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, located in the ... clinical supply facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility will provide customers ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... In an upcoming episode scheduled for the ... of Care Testing solutions (POCT). Check local listings for more info. , Today, the ... and are shipped to labs throughout the country. Results are then available several days ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... KEYNES, England (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2020 ... ... in Africa supporting sustainable healthcare, and Renovagen Ltd, a UK supplier and manufacturer ... response project to support testing operations in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... HOUSTON (PRWEB) , ... August ... ... a biopharmaceutical cold chain validation engineering firm, is making available for ... driving the need to incorporate concurrent transport simulation testing into today’s biologics ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (PRWEB) , ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... cell joint injections for only $3950. With 50 million stem cells total, patients may ... well stem cell therapy works for arthritic joints (BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016). At R3 ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... eSource has long been touted as the solution ... history of eSource, the reasons it did not take off as quickly as people ... the industry is moving towards capturing data electronically for clinical trials and then repurposing ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... , ... July 16, 2020 , ... “We are thrilled ... Wave Bioactives. “It’s the only technology of its kind on the market and we ... onions with the protective capacity of traditional cultured ingredients, creating a natural way to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: