Researchers Confirm: Ancient Man Ate Panda
To think that once upon at time our ancestors entered into mortal combat with these horrifying predators.
Via: Edward Leung/Flickr
Researchers in China have confirmed the horrifying truth at last: Ancient man was pitted against ancient panda in a brutal battle for survival. It's surprising that mankind managed to avoid extinction when faced with a foe as dangerous as the panda.
Pandas after all, are such consummate survivalists that they've forced modern science to ask, "Why is it so hard for pandas to have sex?" Such hardcore killers that they've decided their niche is to be among the world's least efficient eaters.
At any rate, what the panda researchers uncovered is fossil evidence that pandas were, "Slashed to death by man." While they haven't uncovered anything more definitive than these fossils they reason that there would be little reason for early humans to attack pandas for any reason other than turning them into food. The researchers go on to say that pandas from that time period, around 10000 years ago, tended to be much smaller around the size of a Tibetan mastiff.
Given what we know about pandas, namely that they're not the most active animals. In fact their digestive system is so inefficient that they have to spend the entire day stuffing their face with bamboo just to stay alive. What's more, their need to keep their energy requirements low means that sloth is a virtue among panda kind. That means that they actively avoid heavily slopped terrain because it would force them to break a sweat. With that in mind, it's not surprising that early humans would have found the slow, docile critters with soft fur and zero survival instinct, perfect targets for their recently developed spears.
Of course this begs the question: Just what does panda taste like? Slate has done an admirable job trying to answer that question although the results are far from shocking. As near as they could tell, panda doesn't taste very good. There's only one recent case, in 1983, of a person trying to eat a panda and he reported that it tasted bad enough that he tried to give the meat away. Perhaps more telling, there are no "Panda Pozole" recipes endemic to China.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.