Q:

What animals eat bamboo?

A:

Pandas, bamboo lemurs and bamboo rats all eat bamboo exclusively. Many other animals, such as golden monkeys, eat bamboo occasionally. Humans eat cooked bamboo shoots.

Animals that eat large quantities of bamboo have evolved mechanisms to deal with the cyanide compounds that bamboo synthesizes.

Bamboo is a type of grass. It is noted for its ability to grow very quickly. Running bamboo sends out underground shoots that can cover long distances before developing shoots that grow upwards. The woody stems of bamboo are used as a construction material and a source of fiber. The only species of bamboo native to North America is called rivercane; it was once an important natural resource for Native Americans, both as a food source and as a construction material.


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