Flickr/Photo by Mark Dumont (CC BY 2.0)

How the Red and Giant Panda Coexist

According to a basic ecology principle, two species that use the same resources cannot live in the same space. So how do the red and giant pandas do it in China? They each dine on the same food: bamboo. But it turns out that their skulls are distinctly different, discovered researchers who created 3D computer simulations of how the two pandas chomp on their greens. Whereas giant pandas can handle tougher trunks and stems because they have a more concentrated bite, red pandas can munch for longer and opt for softer parts of the plants, like the leaves. The findings were reported this week in Biology Letters, but the researchers didn’t discuss the panda that eats, shoots and leaves.

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