Despite two million years of munching almost exclusively on bamboo, the giant panda’s gut has not adapted to eating the plant--putting the creatures in an "evolutionary dilemma", scientists said Tuesday.
The surprising study, reported by online US journal mBio, examined 45 giant pandas over the course of a year and found that the animals appeared to have a digestive system "entirely differentiated from other herbivores".
Instead, the pandas still retained the gut bacteria of the omnivorous bears they evolved from, the report’s summary said.
"Unlike other herbivores that have successfully evolved anatomically specialized digestive systems to efficiently deconstruct fibrous plant matter, the giant panda still retains a gastrointestinal tract typical of carnivores".
munch：動詞，大聲咀嚼。例句：We watched her munch her way through two packets of peanuts.（我們看著她津津有味地嚼完2包花生。）
differentiate：動詞，區分，分別。例句：We do not differentiate between our workers on the basis of their background or ethnic origin.（我們不會因為勞工的背景或種族不同而區別對待。）
omnivorous：形容詞，雜食的，涉獵廣泛的。例如：an omnivorous reader（涉獵廣泛的讀者）