China's beloved national symbol - the panda - may have been eaten by early man, a scientist has claimed.
Wei Guangbiao believes the bears were killed for food in an area that is now part of the city of Chongqing in southwest China.
He said fossils discovered of the animal show pandas were once "slashed to death by man".
Mr Wei told the Chongqing Morning Post: "In primitive times, people wouldn't kill animals that were useless to them" and therefore the pandas must have been used as food.
The Chinese government invests greatly in studying the native species and trying to ensure its survival.
Pandas number about 1,600 in the wild, where they are critically endangered due to poaching and development.
More than 300 live in captivity, mostly in China's breeding programmes.