Hard to Bear: Pandas Poorly Adapted for Digesting Bamboo, Scientists Find

The panda’s woes are well-documented. Their habitat is shrinking, they are incredibly fussy eaters and they have an unusually lacklustre approach to sex.
Now scientists have discovered that the bears are also poorly adapted for digesting bamboo, despite the plant being almost the only thing they eat. The research shows that two million years after shifting to a herbivore lifestyle, the giant panda still has carnivore-like gut bacteria, which is better at breaking down protein.
The discovery could explain some of the animal’s more baffling traits, including spending almost every waking hour eating and its apparent indifference towards attempts at reproduction.