The sacculus epipharyngeus in the Giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca



The bursa epipharyngea of the Giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, is a saccular diverticulum (sacculus epipharyngeus) situated between pharynx roof and basis cranii. In the Ursidae the bursa comprises a pair of unequal-sized diverticula having separate ostial communication with the epipharynx. Such dual type of bursa was recorded by Davis (1964) in the Ailuropoda specimen he systematically anatomized and was regarded as evidence indicating affinity with the Ursidae rather than with the Procyonidae. But in four additional Ailuropoda specimens subsequently examined, and described herein, the ursid pattern of sacculus did not obtain. The significance of this difference in the anatomical findings is indicated.