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... whilst other animals - like pandas - have relatively small babies?
Newborn joey [baby kangaroo] sucking on a teat in the pouch ...When the joey is born, it is about the size of a lima bean.
The large body size of the giant panda is an adaptation to the low nutritive quality of bamboo. Large animals with low body surface area to body volume have lower metabolic rates. The food requirements for sustaining metabolism therefore would be lower. This allows the panda survive on a poor nutrient diet. A larger body size would also obtain more resources.