Spanish Researchers Discover Fossils; May Be Linked With the Giant Panda
A team of Spanish researchers has managed to nail down fossils which as per them are most likely to be connected with the giant panda. The fossils found, which are likely to be some 11.5 million to 12.5 million years old, belong to Kretzoiarctos Beatrix, as per Juan Abella, at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Spain, who headed the study.
The fossils, found in northeast Spain, are of two adults, with one explained last year in the journal Estudios Geologico, while another one was reported to have a broken mandible and incomplete upper carnassial (large tooth).
The team examined both the sets of fossils and compared them. It was further said that the oldest fossils in the lineage of panda were discovered in China but they were considerably younger, somewhere between 7.2 and 8.2 million years old.
Nonetheless, there is uncertainty if pandas evolved in Spain and then they moved to China. There is need for extended research in this context.
"That fossil record is very fragmentary and so it is difficult to state 100% sure that one fossil species was the direct ancestor of an extant one", said Abella, while claiming that there are fair chances of other older panda relative fossils out there.