The Ancestors of Panda Resided in Spain?
by Dilek on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
A Spanish study, which was published in an international online journal, showed that the fossils of a giant panda bear were found in the northeast of Spain; in fact revealed the first panda remains outside of Asia.
Unlike popular belief the birthland of panda might not be China, instead Iberian Peninsula might be the very initial place for those lovely creatures. The fossils were found in Zaragoza and Barcelona including two jars and several teeth which are almost 11.6 million years old. It has been the oldest ancestor link to giant panda ever found. The previous findings of panda lineage had demonstrated that the oldest predecessor is 7-8 million years old that were discovered in China.
It is surprising to see the first traces of panda bear in Spain as they are always thought to have existed in Asia mainly in higher parts of China. Bamboo, which grows in humid and warm environment, is the main food of their nutrition; so it has brought a theory into light that million years ago there must have been similar plants and the climate was different back then in Spain.
There is still no clear explanation how the ancestors of panda bears got into interaction with other species and migrated to China or whether it is possible that they lived in Europe and Asia at the same period million years ago. Panda bear is a rare animal, originally was considered to be a member of racoon or cat family, even in ancient times it was called "the large bear cat". Genetically they are closely related to bears and have carnivorous digestion system yet they adjust themselves on vegetarian diet, eating fibrous plants mostly bamboos. Due to lack of humid area and scarcity of plants they face extinction and their fur is so precious that Chinese government put severe penalties on hunters and dealers however it does not seem a sufficient solution.
Spain has many historical treasures dating back to old ages but this scientific discovery comes a bit more forward by revealing an amazing fact. Still it is not a concrete fact whether they are the ancestors but the idea of panda bears once resided in Iberian Peninsula itself is enough to fascinate. There might be other uncovered fossils in the future and we will be able to learn the truth behind giant panda bears in Spanish history.
Keywords: Spain,history,Panda bear,Barcelona