Why do pandas eat bamboo?

Answer

Pandas eat bamboo because they have evolved to do so. Experts believe pandas eat bamboo because pandas are unskilled hunters that prefer bamboo due to the fact that it is readily available year-round. After thousands of years eating bamboo, pandas have developed a liking for it and prefer it to meat.

Experts agree that pandas are the descendants of carnivores with a digestive track fit for digesting meat, however pandas simply prefer bamboo. This is not to say that pandas never eat meat. According to How It Works, pandas eat meat occasionally when it is offered. The World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF, states that pandas sometimes hunt for pikas and rodents. According to the WWF, however, only 1 percent of the panda’s diet comes from meat and plants other than bamboo.

Another reason why it is curious that pandas eat bamboo is because bamboo does not digest well. Pandas lack the digestive enzymes and bacteria needed to digest the cellulose prevalent in bamboo and other plant matter, and as a result, pandas absorb few nutrients from bamboo. Since pandas are only able to absorb about 20 percent of its nutrients from a bamboo meal, they must eat large amounts to garner enough nutrients. According to the WWF, pandas must eat approximately 12 to 38 kilograms of bamboo every day to absorb the nutrients they need. For these reasons, experts believe evolution must have favored pandas that ate bamboo instead of meat. In other words, the bamboo-eating pandas survived.

Q&A Related to "Why do pandas eat bamboo?"
Pandas have adapted to eating bamboo because this is their habitat and it is the most accessible food. Because it is so low in nutrients they must eat 40-80 pounds per day. They will
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Giant pandas live in dense bamboo forests in western China. Though these forests once spanned a greater area, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park reports that forest clearing
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It gives them liquids and stay healthy because they like it. They are gorgeous but it helps them by giving vitamins and other vital things.
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They will sometimes eat other things, but bamboo is their main food source. They spend at least 12 hours each day eating bamboo. Because bamboo is so (more?)
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Why Do Pandas Eat Bamboo Plants?
Despite its popularity, the giant panda is an endangered species--according to National Geographic, there are only about 1,000 left on Earth. The magazine's website reports that about 10 percent of these pandas live in captivity, where they may feed on a... More »
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