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Panda Evolution


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.panda

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.



  1. Deathbydefault says:

    ( I haven’t researched any of this it’s 2am leave me alone ;-;) By evolutionary theory the panda was always omnivorous and used to eat animals a lot too, which is why the stomach is structured that way. Something happened to it’s main source of prey and it had to eat mostly bamboo, assuming it was around at the time. Since a carnivore stomach is also has the needed structure to digest plants there was no need for that to change with the panda’s evolution to a mostly plant based diet. I would assume that when the Panda was initially formed into what it looks like now it probably had those colors to pattern itself to something to hide from it’s prey. Though I doubt I could really explain that one off easily lol.


    • Anoop Alex says:

      So are you saying that prey disappeared from it’s habitat? I wanted to verify that on StackExchange but got downvoted to -4. Also, makes you wonder about abandoning cubs when you only have two.


      • Deathbydefault says:

        Yeah, the panda losing it’s primal source of meat is what I meant to put. I mean 99.9% of every animal that’s ever lived has gone extinct so it might have been the pandas were slim and quick at one point and accidentally hunted their prey to extinction, or the prey just died of a disease of some sort. That may also explain why pandas are huge, there’s no predator to run from and no prey to run to so why stay skinny? Same point for the cubs I suppose. Pandas are solitary animals from what I know and since they don’t worry about natural predators they probably don’t think the cubs will have to either. That along with the fact that they’re like the second or third laziest animal on earth so why would they bother raising a kid I guess. I’m personifying pandas and it sounds stupid but they’re actually very smart. Time for bed it’s 4am for me I’ll read up more after work tomorrow.


  2. Anoop Alex says:

    Pandas may be solitary animals but that doesn’t mean there is no game in their habitat. Is that true or are you just assuming that? I read they share the habitat with a wide variety of creatures but also that many of the creatures are endangered too. The truth is that pandas don’t bother to hunt and spend most of the time eating only bamboo even though bamboo is not very nutritious for them. They are a true example of survival of the unfittest.


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