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Don’t underestimate pandas, their bodies can neutralize cyanide

Submitted by The Verge on March 18, 2018 - 3:00pm

The giant panda has a complicated reputation. It is known as an adorable animal, a symbol of Chinese diplomacy, the poster child for endangered animals, the poster child for charismatic megafauna who get too much attention for being endangered, and a creature that’s really bad at sex (with exceptions).

So it’s unsurprising that pandas are seen as bumbling animals, but in actuality, they do have one very impressive skill: their bodies neutralize cyanide. Yes, the poisonous chemical that famously smells faintly of almonds.

You see, raw bamboo contains cyanide and, if eaten, will make the average person extremely sick; it can even be deadly. (Cooking gets rid of the cyanide.) Pandas, of course, primarily eat bamboo, and have adapted to...

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