The Scientific name of Panda Bear is Ailuropoda Melanoleuca. The ancestor of the giant panda is the Ailurarctos (“cat bear”), which is an extinct genus of the Chinese panda that lived 8 million years ago. The skull of another ancestor, Ailuropoda microtia, shows that it was half the size of a modern-day giant panda. Research shows that for the past 3 million years, giant pandas have evolved as a separate lineage from other bears. The Giant Panda lives in mountain forests of southwest China, usually the Gansu, Shanxi and Sichuan provinces. Approximately 99 percent of a panda’s diet bamboo leaves and shoots are void of much nutritional value. Its carnivore-adapted digestive system cannot digest cellulose well, thus it lives a low-energy, sedentary lifestyle but persists in eating some 60 species of bamboo. Pandas must eat upwards of 30 pounds of bamboo daily just to stay full. (panda bear facts),(giant panda description)
A panda’s paw has six digits—five fingers and an opposable pseudo-thumb (actually an enlarged wrist bone) it uses merely to hold bamboo while eating. But bamboo is so low in nutrients so they spend at least 12 hours each day eating it. They eat up to 12 kilograms (26.4 pounds) of bamboo daily. The red panda and the giant panda share the same habitat and diet, and both animals are also endangered. However, scientific tests show that the red panda is in the raccoon family while the giant panda is in the bear family. Some scientists believe that the giant panda is so special that it should belong to its own family group. The average panda’s home range is thought to be about 5 square kilometers (1.9 square miles), with male ranges larger than that of females. In China’s Han dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD), the highly prized and gentle pandas graced the gardens of the emperors. Pandas were believed to have mystical powers.
Baby panda bear facts and information
- A baby panda is called a cub or rookie.
- It is born pink.
- It weighs about 3-4 ounces and measures about 15 cm.
- It is born with its eyes shut. It opens its eyes in about 6-8 weeks.
- It is born without hair. When it is about 3 months old, its hair fully grows.
- It is klutzy. It often falls, trips and rolls over while exploring its surroundings.
- A mother Panda cradles its babies in its arm for several days after birth.
- A baby panda can climb trees after seven months of its birth.
How many pandas are left in the world?
Possibly as few as 1,600 giant pandas still roam the mountainous forests of central China, and more than 300 live in captivity in various facilities around the globe. The latest census in 2014 found that there were 1,864 giant pandas alive in the wild. While still very low, this represents a real success story, with numbers increasing from around 1,000 in the late 1970s. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, which keeps track of threatened species across the world, said it was reclassifying the animal as only ‘vulnerable’ after its wild population in China rose by nearly 17 percent. This magnificent animal, a survivor of the ice age and centuries beyond, is now in grave danger of extinction. The survival of each living panda becomes crucial to the survival of the species; each animal, those in captivity and in the wild, must be attended to on a daily basis if they are sick or injured. Without proper medical equipment and medicine, Giant Pandas will die and each death brings us one step closer to a world without these unique creatures; one step closer to the destruction of yet another species and its ecosystem. Giant Pandas are on the World Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Animals(click here to know more). The U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) protects Giant Pandas, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). While hunting and poaching have been reduced due to strict laws by the Chinese government, accidental capture of Giant Pandas in traps set for other animals still possesses a serious problem. Low birth rates and difficulties with reproduction also limit the numbers.
Information about pandas habitat
Older Giant pandas spend most of their time eating or sleeping. Younger ones like to play. They play with other Giant Pandas, running, chasing each other, climbing trees, and tumbling on the ground. Giant Pandas are truly “roly-poly” creatures when they play. Giant Pandas do not have a permanent den and do not hibernate. In the winter they will seek shelter in hollow trees. Giant Pandas typically have a range of 4-7 km but can travel up to 10 km a day looking for food, water, and shelter. Giant pandas Behavior pays their lives consumption bamboo and walking around the forest floor. They’re sensible climbers and might additionally swim. They don’t build dens or hibernate. They like shallow slopes and solitary living. If it’s too cold up within the mountains, they head right down to the valleys wherever it’s hotter. Panda can peel and eat bamboo sticks in 40 seconds. They sit during the meal. (giant panda description)
Panda bear facts – Giant panda description
One problem for wild Giant Pandas is that the bamboo species flowers and dies. It then takes several years for the bamboo to recover. In the past, Giant Pandas would migrate to other areas in search for new plants. Now, with their range fragmented, this is often difficult. Giant Pandas drink water from the rivers and streams in their mountain environment. Pandas are solitary animals (live on their own). They demand large portion of the forest just for themselves because they don’t have enough energy to compete with other pandas for food, territory, and mates. The bears mated and Ling-Ling gave birth to three sets of twins during the 1980’s. Unfortunately, all of the cubs died shortly after birth. Since the death of Ling-Ling, there have been no Pandas in the U.S. Reproductive rates of Pandas are low, with low fertility rates for both the male and female. To make matters more difficult, the breeding period lasts a mere 24 – 48 hours. Major efforts are underway by both the Chinese and the U.S. to develop successful artificial insemination of captive pandas to increase their numbers. Hopes for the Panda Bears’ long term survival probably depend on the success of these programs.
Where do giant pandas live
Wild Pandas are only found in the remote mountainous regions of Central China. There are wet and cool bamboo forest is these areas of China which are sufficient to fulfill the Giant Panda’s all needs. There are some Pandas living in zoos outside of China, but they are fed manually by the zookeepers. The Giant Panda has lived for centuries in coniferous forests with dense undergrowth of bamboo at elevations of 5,000 to 11,000 feet. Rain or dense mist throughout the year shrouds these remote forests in heavy clouds. In the winter snow is common.
Giant panda bear diet facts
The giant panda has all the necessary equipment for a meat-based diet but it has no taste for it and will happily live on bamboo. Pandas use their teeth to peel off the tough outer layers to reveal the soft inner tissue of the stalk. Strong jawbones and cheek muscles help pandas crush and chew the thick stalks with their flattened back teeth. Bamboo leaves are also on the menu, as pandas strip them off the stalks, wad them up, and eat them. (Panda bear facts),(giant panda description)
Red panda characteristics
The red panda and the giant panda share the same habitat and diet, and both animals are also endangered. However, scientific tests show that the red panda is in the raccoon family while the giant panda is in the bear family. Some scientists believe that the giant panda is so special that it should belong to its own family group.