Bulgaria would be the first home of the Panda, but 6 million years ago

 

A Bulgarian researcher and paleontologist from Sofia have just announced the existence of a giant panda, a cousin of the Chinese, in western Bulgaria. It disappeared at the same time as its inhabitant with the drying up of the Mediterranean.

The perseverance of Nikolai Spassov, paleontologist of the Bulgarian National Museum of Natural History. While rummaging through the fossil collections years ago, he came across two blackened teeth with a vague handwritten label – the word Guredjia – affixed in the late 1970s by one of his predecessors, Ivan Nikolov. 

 
It took me years to establish where they came from,” says Spassov, who published the results of his findings this August 1 in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Guredjia was the ancient name of a village in northwestern Bulgaria, now Ognyanovo. There, the canine and the molar had been unearthed in a coal deposit in the northern foothills of the Sredna Gora mountains. Then, by comparing them with those of bears of the Miocene, Spassov understood to be dealing with an unknown species: a cousin of China’s giant panda. Almost as big. But not so close that it could be its ancestor. In homage to his predecessor, he named it Agriarctos Nikolovi.

From the study of the teeth, Spassov also deduced that the region was a wetland where the Bulgarian panda did not eat bamboo – it did not have such a hard tooth – but soft grass. And that it had become vegetarian because it could not compete with other ursids for meat…

 
The explanation that could also apply to the panda of today. Agriarctos Nikolovi would not have survived the enigmatic drying up of the Mediterranean Sea, for about 630 000 years, which took away its habitat nearly 6 million years ago.
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Bulgaria would be the first home of the Panda, but 6 million years ago

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Bulgaria would be the first home of the Panda, but 6 million years ago

 
A Bulgarian researcher and paleontologist from Sofia have just announced the existence of a giant panda, a cousin of the Chinese, in western Bulgaria. It disappeared at the same time as its inhabitant with the drying up of the Mediterranean. The perseverance of Nikolai Spassov, paleontologist of the Bulgarian National Museum of Natural History. While rummaging through the fossil collections years ago, he came across two blackened teeth with a vague handwritten label - the word Guredjia - affixed in the late 1970s by one of his predecessors, Ivan Nikolov. 
 
It took me years to establish where they came from," says Spassov, who published the results of his findings this August 1 in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Guredjia was the ancient name of a village in northwestern Bulgaria, now Ognyanovo. There, the canine and the molar had been unearthed in a coal deposit in the northern foothills of the Sredna Gora mountains. Then, by comparing them with those of bears of the Miocene, Spassov understood to be dealing with an unknown species: a cousin of China's giant panda. Almost as big. But not so close that it could be its ancestor. In homage to his predecessor, he named it Agriarctos Nikolovi. From the study of the teeth, Spassov also deduced that the region was a wetland where the Bulgarian panda did not eat bamboo - it did not have such a hard tooth - but soft grass. And that it had become vegetarian because it could not compete with other ursids for meat...
 
The explanation that could also apply to the panda of today. Agriarctos Nikolovi would not have survived the enigmatic drying up of the Mediterranean Sea, for about 630 000 years, which took away its habitat nearly 6 million years ago.
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Bulgaria would be the first home of the Panda, but 6 million years ago

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Bulgaria would be the first home of the Panda, but 6 million years ago

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Bulgaria would be the first home of the Panda, but 6 million years ago

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Bulgaria would be the first home of the Panda, but 6 million years ago

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