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Diet of panda

posted by sinista on Oct 03, 2017
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Despite its taxonomic classification as a carnivoran, the giant panda's diet is primarily herbivorous, consisting almost exclusively of bamboo.[45] However, the giant panda still has the digestive system of a carnivore, as well as carnivore-specific genes,[59] and thus derives little energy and little protein from consumption of bamboo. Its ability to digest cellulose is ascribed to the microbes in its gut.[60][61] Pandas are born with sterile intestines, and require bacteria obtained from their mother's feces to digest vegetation.[62] The giant panda is a "highly specialized" animal with "unique adaptations", and has lived in bamboo forests for millions of years.[50] The average giant panda eats as much as 9 to 14 kg (20 to 30 lb) of bamboo shoots a day to compensate for the limited energy content of its diet. Ingestion of such a large quantity of material is possible because of the rapid passage of large amounts of indigestible plant material through the short, straight digestive tract.

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