Giant pandas also lived in Europe: they found remains of the last one that inhabited those lands

The pandas Current giants originate from the forests of China, but, millions of years ago, they also lived in Europe, as shown by a new study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The new species was named “Agriarctos nikolovi”.

However, research on the ancestors of this species was not based on a recent fossil find: the new kind of panda giant was identified from two fossilized teeth that had been found in the 1970s and have since been lost in the bowels of the Bulgarian Natural History Museum.

Illustration that reconstructs what the recently identified European giant panda would have looked like.

“They only had a vaguely handwritten label,” recalls museum researcher and professor Nikolai Spassov, who says it took him many years to figure out their age and location. “Also, I was late in realizing that it was a fossil of panda unknown giant”he added.

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