Sunday, September 25, 2022
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Palaeontology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
Palaeontology

Ancient fossil yields oldest ever panda DNA

By T.K. Randall
June 20, 2018 · Comment icon 1 comment



Pandas were once a lot more diverse than they are today. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 jballeis
Researchers have identified a long-lost panda relative from DNA that was retrieved from an ancient jaw bone.
The remarkable discovery was originally made back in 2014 when palaeoanthropologist Yingqi Zhang and colleagues explored a sinkhole in Guangxi Province, southern China.

Their goal was to find fossils belonging to Gigantopithecus - the largest species of primate to have ever walked the Earth - but instead they found the 22,000-year-old lower jaw of an ancient panda.

Within the fossil, scientists were later able to retrieve the oldest known panda DNA on record.
The findings indicate that this prehistoric panda belonged to a previously unknown lineage that split from other giant pandas some 183,000 years ago.

It is believed that these long-lost mammals may have been well adapted to live in their subtropical habitat, suggesting that pandas in general used to be a lot more diverse than they are today.

The next step in the research, which will involve extracting full nuclear genomes from the fossil, should tell us a lot more about the species and may even reveal what these ancient pandas looked like.

Source: National Geographic | Comments (1)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer 4 years ago
Most Excellent!  Now we can send the results of this DNA with a few other Pandas to Ancestry DNA to see if they're related.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Our new book is out now!

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News

 AVAILABLE NOW 

Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!

Support us on Patreon

 BONUS CONTENT 

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

 Total Posts: 7,332,055    Topics: 301,727    Members: 198,350

 Not a member yet ? Click here to join - registration is free and only takes a moment!
Recent news and articles