Headquarter: Chemical Industry Park, Economic Development Zone,  JiNan City,  ShanDong Province, China.

Phone +86-152 8958 7728

Angela@BlueSkytcca.com
The 8 Best Pet Products on Amazon This October Photo

5 Reasons Giant Pandas Can't Get Enough Bamboo – AZ Animals

Advertisement
The giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, lives only in the bamboo forests of central China. These bears adapted millions of years ago to eat primarily bamboo. Despite having developed some physiological adaptations for eating bamboo, giant pandas do not have digestive systems that efficiently process this food. They consume huge amounts of bamboo every day just to survive. Read on to discover why giant pandas just can’t get enough bamboo.
©iStock.com/wrangel
Adult giant pandas consume approximately 25 to 35 pounds of bamboo every day. They spend approximately 12 hours a day eating bamboo. They spend most of the rest of their time sleeping. Approximately 99 percent of a giant panda’s diet consists of bamboo. Bamboo supplies the nutrients that giant pandas need, including carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. But in order to get enough of these nutrients, particularly the vital amino acids to build proteins, pandas must consume huge amounts of the plants.  
©Daniel X D/Shutterstock.com
Giant pandas do not eat the same type of bamboo all year round. According to research, these bears alternate between at least two different types of bamboo found at different elevations. They begin the spring eating tender bamboo shoots found at lower elevations. Then they move to higher elevations in time for the shoots of another variety of bamboo to emerge. In the summer, they devour the calcium rich leaves of the higher elevation bamboo. Then by August they move back to lower elevations where leaves have plenty of calcium and other necessary nutrients for lactating mothers. By alternating between different elevations, giant pandas have a better chance to get enough bamboo to satisfy their nutritional needs.  
©JWPhotoworks/Shutterstock.com
They likely did so because bamboo was the most abundant food source available at a time when food was scarce, and many species were under pressure. Eating bamboo requires lots of energy because the plant is tough and fibrous. Giant pandas can’t process the plant very well, either. They only fully digest a small percentage of what they eat. But hunting for prey also requires a lot of energy. Perhaps long ago, pandas faced a greater threat to survival hunting for scarce prey than simply eating the abundant bamboo that grew all around them. Those that adapted and could get enough bamboo to survive went on to reproduce and thrive.
©Jose Angel Astor Rocha/Shutterstock.com
Giant pandas have probably stuck with their bamboo-based diet over time, in part, because few other animals eat bamboo. The red panda, Ailurus fulgens, though not a close relative of the giant panda, is one species that also eats primarily this tough and fibrous plant. However, red pandas pose little competition for giant pandas. As long as conservation efforts protect bamboo forests where giant pandas live, red pandas that share the same habitat can also get enough of this necessary plant to thrive.
©Bryan Faust/Shutterstock.com
Giant pandas have some adaptations specific to eating bamboo, including large molars, a strong jaw, and a wrist bone that functions like a thumb. However, they still have the digestive system of a typical bear, geared toward an omnivorous or carnivorous diet. Most animals that eat the kind of high fiber, plant-based diet that pandas eat have digestive systems designed for processing that type of food. Cows and other ruminants, for instance, have multi-chambered stomachs that get as much nutrition as possible out of every bite of grass or hay. Most herbivores also have a gut biome with microorganisms that help to break down and digest tough, fibrous plants.
Giant pandas do not have either of these adaptations. Instead, they have the same sort of digestive system found in other bears. They have a simple stomach and a relatively short small intestine, and their gut flora doesn’t do much to help them break down plants at all. Scientists estimate that they only process approximately 17 percent of the bamboo that they eat. This really explains why giant pandas just can’t get enough bamboo.
Enter your email in the box below to get the most mind-blowing animal stories and videos delivered directly to your inbox every day.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.
Parti Schnauzers are great pest controllers. They were bred to catch rodents, so if you have a rat problem, they might be the pet for you.
The 8 Best Pet Products on Amazon This October Photo
Where Is Boston? See Its Map Location and State photo
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Learn more about us & read our affiliate disclosure.
Copyright © 2008 – 2023 A-Z Animals
See a Big Black Bear Interrupt a Group of Hikers in the Smoky Mountains
Watch This Enormous Bear Methodically Approach a Family’s Home and Try to Open the Door
Watch This Bear Try to Outsmart an Electric Fence in the Pursuit of Sweet Honey
Grizzly Bear Grabs a Huge Bull Elk While It Tries to Escape Across a River
See the Intense Moment Massive Bears Mount a Family’s Car and Attempt a Break-In
Watch an Epic Heavyweight Battle Between a Grizzly Bear and Towering Caribou
Bear Quiz – 15,046 People Couldn’t Ace This Quiz
Watch This Insatiable Alligator Turn A Huge Python Into Its Afternoon Snack
Watch a Man’s Cliff Dive Turn Into a Nightmare When He Lands Next to a Great White Shark
Watch This Huge Komodo Dragon Flex Its Power and Swallow a Shark Whole
See A Gator Bite An Electric Eel With 860 Volts
Watch a Shark Come Out Of Nowhere To Grab an Australian Kid While Swimming

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*