Illustration from a peer-reviewed research paper provides poignant commentary on the futility of life

I'm not sure even Chris Ware could have done it any better.

In context, this illustration comes from a recently published paleobiology paper examining a cache of animal bones and pottery found in a sinkhole near China's Jiangdong Mountain.

One of the key things the researchers are taking away from this site: The range of the Giant Panda must have once been a lot larger than it is today.

Here's a link to the paper (which is behind a pay wall)

Via Ed Yong


  1. Futility of life, sure, just a lot of tasty bamboo. Looks like adventure starts a split second before the lights go out and continues on for decades!

    1. What does it matter if you spend $43 on a PDF or not?  We’re all going to be nothing more than rotting bones at the bottom of a pit soon anyway.

    1.  When I first saw image 3, I assumed the panda was running down a steep slope.

      Image 4, suggested he was doing this for a very long time.

  2. Ancient Aliens says that the great Panda Burial Ground is where natives sacrificed pandas to their alien gods. Possibly the aliens used the panda pelts to shag out their spaceships. At this site there are also hieroglyphics depicting what could very well be aliens smoking a giant bong.

  3. Seems like I remember reading about this cave in China awhile back. Some of the bones were broken because more animals kept falling in on top of the skeletons. It’s like China’s equivalent of the La Brea tar pits; you can’t help but look at it and wonder how so many creatures could all be stupid enough to simply wander into certain death.

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