科學家們發現了一種新的歐洲古熊貓物種

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科學家們發現了一種新的歐洲古熊貓物種

科學家們發現了一個新的大熊貓物種,它應該生活在450萬年前!

他們認為這將是歐洲 "最後一個已知 "和 "最進化 "的大熊貓物種。

20世紀70年代在保加利亞濕地發現的牙齒化石是這一發現的關鍵,研究小組能夠利用它們來確定它們來自一種大熊貓。

他們的發現發表在《古脊椎動物學雜誌》上,該雜誌研究細胞和科學,以及古代生命--從恐龍到史前植物和動物。

該研究的共同作者之一斯帕索夫博士說,他花了很長時間才意識到這是一種未知的大熊貓化石。

他說。"這一發現表明我們對古代自然界的了解還很有限,同時也表明古生物學的歷史性發現可以帶來意想不到的結果,即使是在今天"。

古代大熊貓與我們今天看到的大熊貓會有多大不同?

史前熊貓不是你所見過的大熊貓的直接祖先,但它是一個非常接近的親戚。

這隻歐洲古熊貓和今天的大熊貓之間也有一些區別。

根據這項研究,歐洲熊貓不會只靠竹子生存,而是吃更多的軟體植物。

這一時期的化石記錄和出土的部分牙齒表明,它們不會有足夠強的牙齒來粉碎木質的莖。

它們的飲食也可能受到當時生活在類似地區的其他動物的影響,因為它們在爭奪食物來源。

斯帕索夫博士說。"可能與其他物種的競爭,特別是食肉動物和可能的其他熊,解釋了大熊貓在潮濕的森林條件下對蔬菜食物的更緊密的食物專門化。"

通過觀察它們的牙齒,研究小組認為古熊貓的體型應該和大熊貓一樣,或者比大熊貓小一點。

他們說,該物種可能已經由於戲劇性的氣候變化事件而滅絕,這將大規模地改變地形和周圍環境。


Scientists have discovered a new species of the giant panda, which would have lived 4.5 million years ago!

They think it would the "last known" and "most evolved" panda species in Europe.

A fossil of a tooth found in wetlands in Bulgaria in the 1970's was key to the discovery, with the team able to use them to identify they had come from a type of panda.

Their findings were published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, which looks into the study of cells and science, as well as ancient life - from dinosaurs to prehistoric plants and animals.

One of the co-authors of the study Dr Spassov said it had taken him a long time to realise that this was an unknown fossil giant panda.

He said: "This discovery shows how little we still know about ancient nature and demonstrates also that historic discoveries in paleontology can lead to unexpected results, even today."

How different would ancient pandas have been to the ones we see today?

The prehistoric panda is not a direct ancestor of the giant pandas you'll be used to seeing, but it is a very close relative.

There are also a few differences between this ancient European panda and giant pandas today.

According to the study, the European panda wouldn't have survived on bamboo alone but rather ate a more varied diet of softer plants.

The fossil records and the parts of the teeth uncovered from this period suggest they wouldn't have had strong enough teeth to crush the woody stems.

Their diet may also have been influenced by those of other animals living in similar areas at the time, as they competed for food sources.

Dr Spassov said: "The likely competition with other species, especially carnivores and presumably other bears, explains the closer food specialisation of giant pandas to vegetable food in humid forest conditions."

From looking at their teeth, the team think the ancient panda would have been the same size or a little smaller than giant pandas.

They say the species may have become extinct due to dramatic climate change events, which would have massively changed the terrain and surrounding environment.

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