Tracing the origin of the panda’s thumb

  title={Tracing the origin of the panda’s thumb},
  author={Juan Abella and Alejandro P{\'e}rez-Ramos and Alberto Valenciano and David M. Alba and Marcos D. Ercoli and Daniel Hontecillas and Plinio Montoya and Jorge Morales},
  journal={The Science of Nature},
We investigate the relative development of the carnivoran radial sesamoids to untangle the evolution of this iconic structure. In the pandas (both giant and red), this ‘false thumb’ is known to perform a grasping role during bamboo feeding in both the red and giant pandas. An original locomotor role has been inferred for ailurids, but this remains to be ascertained for ursids. A large sample of radial sesamoids of Indarctos arctoides from the Miocene of Batallones-3 (Spain) indicates that this… 

Red panda anatomy

Sesamoids and Morphological Variation: a Hypothesis on the Origin of Rod-like Skeletal Elements in Aerial Mammals

  • L. I. Amador
  • Biology, Geography
    Journal of Mammalian Evolution
  • 2021
This review gathers information regarding anatomy, evolution, and development of rod-like skeletal elements in extant gliding and flying mammals and proposes a working hypothesis on the origin of these structures, which might constitute an example of pre-existing traits that acquire novel functions through relatively little developmental plasticity.

Phenotypic Novelty in EvoDevo: The Distinction Between Continuous and Discontinuous Variation and Its Importance in Evolutionary Theory

It is argued that an EvoDevo-based approach to novelty is inherently mechanistic, treats the phenotype as an agent with generative potential, and prompts a distinction between continuous and discontinuous variation in evolutionary theory.