Listening to the sound of the enormous and purple pandas chomping down on these tasty treats is music to the keepers’ ears! As our animal care group members Nicole MacCorkle and Mariel Lally famous within the final replace, each species have a pseudo thumb— an elongated and enlarged wrist bone lined with a fleshy pad of pores and skin—which permits them to simply grasp bamboo. Big pandas have giant molar enamel and powerful jaw muscle tissue for crushing powerful bamboo, whereas purple pandas shear chosen leaves off with their mouths.
Mei Xiang takes a chunk of bamboo on the David M. Rubenstein Household Big Panda Habitat.
Our colleagues within the Division of Vitamin Sciences minimize bamboo for the pandas at greater than 20 stands throughout the area—together with one at our very personal Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Entrance Royal, Virginia.
One may not assume pandas have choosy palates with regards to bamboo, however throughout winter and spring Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are a fan of a species known as yellow groove bamboo. It will get its title from the yellow indentation that runs down the arduous stalk (a.okay.a. the culm.)