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Very little is known of Agriarctos, and much of what is "known" isn't much more than speculation. Agriarctos was a small bear-like animal that evolved from Ursavus somewhere in the mid-Miocene Epoch. Its date of origin from fossil evidence is over 15 MYA. Its date of origin from genetic evidence is 18 to 22 MYA.

It was believed that Indarctos had given rise to panda bears. However, Qiu Zhanxiang and his colleagues in 1989 described an Agriarctos fossil from the late Miocene in Yunnan, China as having teeth and other bone structure, such as flattened cheek, resembling that of the panda bear.

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