Came across something that befuddled me today and thought I would make a quick post about it. Turns out that the herbivorous panda has a carnivore’s stomach and digestive system. And it’s not like it eats any plants, it eats only bamboo most of the time. But they have been known to eat meat when they find a dead carcass in the wild, for example. So, in truth they are omnivores just like other bears. So the only possibilities are they are too lazy to hunt, they lost the instinct to hunt or there is no game to hunt.
The first seems unlikely because that kind of laziness is one that would go against the needs of the hunger instinct and is assigning human aspects to an animal. Loss of instinct may be a genetic possibility but also unlikely since the only animal to lose its instincts has possibly been the human. Even animals tamed by humans to live in society regain their wild instincts if released into the the wild. If they ever lost it in the first place. Lack of game seems the most likely possibility and I did ask question regarding this on Biology StackExchange but the question got downvoted. No explanation was given why. Even lack of game does not seem to be too probable since there must be other smaller creatures existing in the same environment. So let us consider the panda:
- Eats only bamboo most times
- But is an omnivore
- If it diversified eating, would not be endangered since human deforestation is what threatens it
- Has been known to kill poachers when threatened so still has wild instincts
- Females are fussy when mating and will only select one male and have unique weaknesses to reproduction
- No matter how many cubs female has, will take care of only one and usually lets the other die
- While endangered, population does not always decrease
- Has existed for 2 million years
This is just my opinion but what I gather from this is that there is more to evolution than natural selection. The pandas natural traits are a selection of attributes that should have lead to it becoming extinct but has managed to survive for 2 million years. Many aspects of the panda imply it should have died out long ago, but it didn’t. Even it’s population taken from a 2014 census over the last decade show it INCREASED by 17%. Not much, I know, but still pretty hopeful. I think pandas in zoos eat foods besides bamboo when not given a choice so maybe when all the bamboo disappears from their habitat, wild pandas will diversify but the current consensus that that they will starve if that happens. I see an Awareness behind the evolution of the panda but that is just my belief. Not necessarily a completely kind or a completely hateful Awareness. But one with a bit of both. I’ll understand if you don’t. Or maybe it’s just proof that “Survival of the Fittest” is not a hard rule in Evolution. Sometimes the unfittest survive too.