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Giant panda originates from Wu Mountain

A team of Chinese and French archaeologists believes it has found the original home of China's giant pandas. After the team's third excavation at Longgu (Dragon Bone) slope of Wu Mountain, the archaeologists have concluded that the region was the birthplace of the Giant Panada.

Huang Wanbo, member of the archaeological team and a paleontologist and researcher with Chinese Academy of Sciences, says the research results are based on studies of animal fossils.

The archaeological dig was centered in a cave that was about eight meters high, covering an area of some 400 square meters. The Longgu slope, which is 1,200 meters above sea level, has yielded a number of important archaeological finds. The team discovered the fossil remains of more than ten animals including the giant panda, wild horse, rhinoceros and antelope. The fossils of the giant panda are believed to be between 80,000 and 100,000 years old.

Huang further added that the fossils of a 'pygmy giant panda' found on Longgu slope in 1984 were between 1.8 and 2.48 million years old, the earliest ever found. It is believed that the ¡®pygmy giant panda' was about half the size of today's giant panda.

The current discovery better proves that the giant panda originated on the Longgu slope and evolved and bred along the Yangtze River valley.

People's Daily online

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