This image released by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing shows front views of a new fossil panda skull, Ailuropoda microta, from Jinyin Cave, Guangxi, China, left, and a living giant panda skull, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, right. The first skull of the earliest known ancestor of the giant panda has been discovered in China, researchers report. Discovery of the skull, estimated to be at least 2 million years old, is reported by Russell L. Ciochon in the Tuesday June 19, 2007 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (AP Photo/ Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing)
I haven’t seen the PNAS paper yet, but will post more once I do. Some further details are here.
Update (6/19): The paper has appeared online as an Early Edition article.
Changzhu Jin, Russell L. Ciochon, Wei Dong, Robert M. Hunt Jr., Jinyi Liu, Marc Jaeger, and Qizhi Zhu
The first skull of the earliest giant panda
PNAS published June 19, 2007, 10.1073/pnas.0704198104