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Expert says evidence of giant pandas' European origins lacking
1/13/2018


BEIJING, Jan.11 (Xinhua) -- Giant pandas are commonly believed to have originated in southwest China's Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. But 10-million-year-old tooth fossils found in Hungary have raised new doubts about the black and white bear's ancestors.

According to a paper published in Geobios last October, Canadian and French researchers have discovered the teeth of an ancient animal that resembles a modern-day giant panda during excavations in the Hungarian town of Rudabanya.

By comparing the dental micro-wear and comparing the shape, structure and wear patterns of the teeth with those of other bears, scientists concluded the creature, called Miomaci panonnicum, might have had a diet similar to modern giant pandas, and therefore pandas may have originated in Europe, rather than Asia.

But Chinese paleontologist Huang Wanbo said the conclusion is not well-grounded.

"The fossil they found is rather small, and it lacks the very specialized dental anatomy found in modern giant pandas," said Huang, researcher of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Today, pandas only live in China's southwestern subtropical bamboo forests. The animal is considered a "national treasure" in China, yet few people really know how the giant panda evolved.

Since giant pandas are confined to China, many researchers had assumed China to be the origin of the panda family. Some fossils support this idea.

In the 1980s, Chinese scientists discovered dental specimens of the primal panda in Lufeng in China's southwestern Yunnan Province. The fossils, dating back 8 million years, suggest the primal panda was the oldest known panda and gave rise to the panda line.

However, in 2012, the 11.6-million-year-old teeth of an ancient animal were discovered in Spain. Some scientists claimed the teeth belonged to Kretzoiarctos beatrix, the oldest known direct ancestor of the giant panda, and they believed the giant panda's ancestors originated in Europe before migrating to Asia. The newly found Miomaci teeth also became evidence for the theory.

"It's true that the giant pandas' premolars and molars have become enlarged and very broad compared to bear teeth to help crush bamboo. Teeth found in Spain and Hungary have shown such features. But a close look at the dental remains of the primal panda will tell us how different they are from their European cousins -- smaller teeth with shorter cusps and wrinkled crowns," said Huang.

Huang said the current findings could only prove that both Miomaci panonnicum and Kretzoiarctos beatrix are an extinct "cousin" of the modern panda, rather than a direct ancestor.

"The specimens found in Spain and Hungary suggest they are at different evolutionary levels than the primal panda. They have nothing to do with modern pandas in China. You could say there might have been pandas that originated in Europe but became extinct later. We need more evidence for such a claim, though," said Huang. Enditem

 


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本目录中最多阅览的文章

朱易 : 马鞍峰教会的增长及其深远影响 (1) 
许多前来参加每年一次牧师研讨会的牧师感到(2003年人数达到二十五万之多),他们正经历著一场由华理克牧师主导的改革运动,他们好像又回到了激动人心的马丁路德改教运动的时代,不同的是他们可以与领导今天这场改革的领袖相遇和交谈。

华理克牧师认为马丁路德时代的改革是让教会清楚教会所相信的是什么,这也是我们今天还在传讲的信息和教义,而今天的改革是让教会清楚教会要做什么


第二次宗教改革的呼声 
新兴教会的运动是教会的第二次宗教改革, 它将彻底改写教会历史, 并开创全新的教会时代.

朱易 : 马鞍峰教会的增长模式和教会市场法的危机 (1) 
除了“目标导向”的增长公式,许多牧师认为华理克牧师还有增长的秘诀,但华理克牧师认为他的增长策略其实是十分简单,归纳起来只有三条.

不少学者持怀疑的态度, 他们认为“目标导向”不过是将传统的基督教原则作了不同的包装。




《断背山》风头正健,价值观江河日下 (1) 
对基督徒而言,这部影片只不过是一个用艺术包装起来的同性恋合理的说教。但这一次,基督徒却无法用忽略它的存在的方式来反击它,他们必须寻找新的方法来坚守传统的战线。


朱易: 他的正面思维影响了全世界 (1) 
但是斯凯勒在教会界配受尊重,除了他在教堂的建造上独树一帜外,他的人品和神学上也颇为出色。他是少数几个没有丑闻的电视布道家之一,而让他成为非主流教会和许多基督徒仿效的对象的原因是,他的讲道着重正面信息,用正面思维看问题。


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