Gorillas, like Pandas, have an appetite for bamboo

26 Aug 2013

An interesting story at http://phys.org/print296465433.html ... African mountain bamboos are hidden away, like the mountain gorillas that feed on them, in the mountains at the  tropics. Similarly, Chinese bamboos are the diet of Giant Pandas, and they too are hidden away in remote locations. How did bamboos get from a tropical location in Africa to a temperate location in China? Could the latter once have been in the tropics?

 

When that question is posed scientists are forced on the back foot as the evidence has to make sense in the Plate Tectonics scenario - and can only be explained by moving pieces of continental crust around. Did bamboo spread to Asia or did it drift there on one of those tectonic plates - such as the Indian subcontinent. A new paper seeks to answer the query by first looking at the DNA of African bamboo as opposed to bamboo elsewhere in the world - and it seems it is unique, and varied. The latter appears to substantiate the idea bamboo originated in Africa, the favoured explanation for some time, and spread outwards - a sort of bamboo version of 'Out of Africa'. Migrating equators are not part of the investigation. The paper, published in the online journal PhytoKeys, found bamboo in Africa differed markedly from elsewhere - which in itself is a bit of a problem. Going back to Plate Tectonics, bamboos are thought to have evolved in what was Gondwanaland (which consisted of South America, Africa, India and Australia) - but China is not part of Gondwanaland. It is firmly part of the Euroasiatic landmass. The theory is that when India bumped into Asia the bamboos jumped over the Himalayas and set root in China - or something like that. Bamboos are also found in South America, Madagascar, and Sril Lanka.

The same story pops up at www.geneticarchaeology.com (24th August 2013) and the Out of Africa theory is explored - and yet the genetic connection with Africa does not exist.