from bamboo groves to panda mouths
pandas have huge molars and powerful jaw muscles for
breaking the bamboo's tough exterior and chewing the "culm," or
woody stalk, and leaves. Their favorite part of the bamboo is
the stalk's tender green interior, their keepers say.
|Their forepaws are equipped with a sixth
"thumb" that they use to hold bamboo. This digit is basically a wrist bone that has evolved into a larger bone with a fleshy pad over
it, explains zoo spokesman Mike Morgan.
||Pandas will usually sit upright
while they eat, leaving their thumbs free to grasp bamboo stems.
Copyright © 2001 University of Maryland College of Journalism
Top of Page |