Discover Why Giant Pandas Mainly Eat Bamboo

Bamboo is the main food for giant pandas, taking more than 90% of their daily diet. But bamboo as a kind of plant is not as nutritious as various kinds of meat, so people may wonder, why do pandas like bamboo that much?

Why do pandas eat bamboo?

Panda eats bamboo partly because they have no umami taste receptors, so meat tastes bland to them. More importantly, giant pandas cannot run fast, it’s difficult for them to catch prey in the wild.

Pandas consume their energy as little as possible, for example, they like sitting but not chasing around, on the other hand, they have sharp teeth and extremely strong bite force, even stronger than polar bears. These characteristics make sure they can rely on the low-nutritious bamboo instead of an all-meat diet.

How do pandas eat bamboo?

Pandas love the tenderest bamboo shoots the most, but they also eat bamboo leaves and bamboo stems. Their large bite force and strong teeth enables them to tear the bamboo up into pieces easily. They also have a sixth finger at the side of their palm to hold bamboo branches tightly and feed in the mouth precisely.