Because they lack opposable thumbs, seeing giant pandas holding bamboo in their paws might make you wonder how they do it.
In addition to having five well-developed digits, giant pandas have an enlarged carpal bone (called the radial sesamoid bone) that acts as a "pseudothumb." This pseudothumb opposes the first and second digits, helping pandas grasp bamboo. This radial sesamoid is present in other bears, but is more developed in the giant panda.
© Kieron Nelson 2010 "Vanishing Cultures Photography" All rights reserved