Giant pandas are perhaps one of the most adorable types of creature in the world. You’ll be delighted and burst into laughter when you see their cute look, round bodies, and lovely poses. You can’t miss this article filled with interesting facts about giant pandas if you are a panda fan or an animal lover.
What Is a Panda Bear? A Rare Type of Bear
Giant pandas are large, rare members of the bear family and are found in Sichuan Province, China. Giant pandas are 80 to 120 kilograms in weight with a round face, big dark eye patches, a fat body, and a black and white coat. Their feet turn in when they walk or run, which is really adorable. Being one of the cutest animals in the world, giant pandas have a number of fans no matter whether they are kids or adults.
What Does a Giant Panda Eat? Bamboo
A giant panda is a type of bear and an omnivorous animal. Their food can consist of grass, fruits, insects, rats, small fish, and wildebeests. However, bamboo shoots are giant pandas’ favorite and main food. They don’t need to run quickly as many of their known predators are no longer around so they can spend a lot of time eating without moving too much. Bamboo is a good choice, and they can grasp it easily and put it on their laps when eating it.
Eating for 14–16 Hours and Having 12–38 Kilograms of Bamboo a Day
Giant pandas don’t have the same teeth and fiber-digesting bacteria to help them absorb nutrients from bamboo like other plant-eating animals. That’s why a panda bear needs to spend 14 to 16 hours a day eating 12 to 38 kilograms of bamboo.
Panda Bears Have 6 Fingers/Toes and Walk Like Human Beings
To eat easily, pandas’ six “fingers” help them grasp and maneuver bamboo. Like other bears, giant pandas have plantigrade feet so they can walk like humans and their entire foot touches the ground when walking.
Cute Pandas Poop 28 Kilograms Per Day
Lacking fiber-digesting bacteria causes panda bears to defecate as much as 28 kilograms a day. It seems they are just eating, sleeping, and pooping all day. That’s one of the reasons they are endangered today as humans can find them easily by tracking their feces.
How Many Teeth Do Pandas Have?
Pandas have 24 teeth when they are young and 40 to 42 teeth as adults. Eating bamboo from morning to night is a panda’s most important activity in a day. That means giant pandas possess strong and sharp teeth to bite tough, hard bamboo. In fact, giant pandas used to eat meat like other bears. Their teeth are very sharp although nowadays they just use them for chewing bamboo.
Just Over 1,000 Pandas Are Left in the World
Only just over 1,000 panda bears are left in the world and most of these pandas are being raised in zoos. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the main factors for pandas becoming endangered. Roads and railways had been built through their habitats although the Chinese government claimed this type of project has been banned. Pandas had to migrate to new areas and were separated from others, meaning they had less opportunities for breeding.
Pandas’ mountainous forests are also degraded by local people. They earn their livings by collecting medicinal herbs, gathering wood, and developing tourism. Without enough food and suitable habitats, these poor pandas are endangered.
Giant pandas are now regarded as “China’s treasure” and are protected and raised at zoos. We believe that they can return to the wild, for Chinese people are gradually understanding the importance of keeping a harmonious balance with nature.
Southwest China is the Hometown of Panda Bears
Where do giant pandas live? China’s southwestern region is their home, including Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi provinces. These areas are very damp and rainy, which is good for pandas’ living conditions. Sichuan Province is the area where most pandas are found.
Giant Pandas and Red Pandas
Similar habitats and diets make some experts believe that giant pandas and red pandas are the same species. However, according to a scientific test, the red panda belongs to the raccoon family while the giant panda is part of the bear family. Some specialists hold the opinion that giant pandas are so different from other bears that they should belong to their own family group.
A Female Panda Can Have 6 to 12 Panda Babies in Her Lifetime
A wild female panda can give birth to about six cubs in her lifetime. However, pandas living in zoos can give birth twice as many times (12 panda cubs) as wild pandas. Good conditions and artificial inseminations are the key factors to ensuring giant pandas’ timely mating.
A Newborn Panda Cub is Only 25 Grams in Weight
Panda cubs are usually born during September as most giant pandas are in heat in April. A newborn panda cub is just 25 grams in weight and looks like a rat without its gray coat. After one month, a panda cub becomes black and white, but it still can’t walk and see. Three months later, the panda cub starts to learn how to walk and its eyes reach a normal condition. Six months later, the panda cub is about 13 kilograms in weight and its mother will teach it how to survive in the wild and eat bamboo. After 18 months, the giant panda will start to live independently.
Giant Pandas’ Natural Enemies Are Wolves, Leopards, and Weasels
Wild giant pandas are very clever and they will defend themselves by climbing up a tall tree when they see their natural enemies approaching. Despite weighing 150 kilograms and being about 1.5 meters in height, wild pandas can run fast in the wild.
In fact, adult pandas do have a few enemies, including wolves, leopards, and weasels. But these animals focus on young pandas rather than adult panda bears. Having survived in this world for millions of years, giant pandas’ enemies have become fewer and fewer, and that’s why you may consider them to be “lazy”. Usually, other animals would attack a panda’s bottom because its fat body is not nimble enough to protect its back. However, you’ll find it scary to try and touch a giant panda from behind.
The History of Pandas Can Be Dated Back to 8 Million Years Ago
The panda’s ancestor is Ailurarctos (cat bear), a type of extinct bear that lived up to 8 million years ago at half the size of a modern giant panda. According to research, panda bears have evolved as a separate lineage from other bears. No wonder most people are confused by the species of giant pandas.
Pink, White, and Black Coats of Panda Bears
A newborn panda baby is pink, blind, and with little fur, resembling a baby badger. The black and white fur comes later, after about 21 days. The black and white coloring allows pandas to hide safely in the shadows in a bamboo forest. Giant pandas look very cute because of the dark circles around their eyes. Some biologists believe that the panda’s large black eyespots aim to scare other animals by making them look aggressive.
Giant Pandas Are about 1.5 Meters in Height
Panda bears are much larger than the teddy bear version you may have in your home. An adult panda is over 45 kilograms in weight and 1.5 meters in height.
Giant Pandas Can Climb Trees and Swim
It’s funny to see a fat panda hanging from a branch in a tree but they are actually really good at climbing trees. This kind of skill helps them to escape from dangerous animals if need be. They can also swim but it is rare to see this.
“Lazy” Pandas Enjoy Eating and Sleeping All Day
Go to the panda base as early as you can because giant pandas appear to be really lazy and eat or sleep all day. Morning is pandas’ most active period so don’t miss seeing them at this time of day because otherwise all you will see is sleeping pandas.
The Giant Panda Is One of the Superstars Among All Fins, Fur, and Feathers
Its cute look has made the giant panda popular worldwide and pandas have a large number of fans. One of the reasons most travelers visit Chengdu is to see the giant pandas. Giant pandas are now not only China’s national treasure but the world’s.
International Panda Star — Chi Chi
Chi Chi lived in London Zoo from 1958 to 1972 and was really popular at that time. Chi Chi was the original panda for the WWF logo. There are many famous giant pandas in the history of pandas, such as Tai Shan and Pan Pan.
Lonely Brown Panda in Shaanxi
Qizai is the only completely brown panda in the world. When a video of Qizai appeared on the Internet, it sparked a lot of hot discussion and comments among Chinese people. Someone kidded that Qizai’s mother hadn’t had enough ink when she gave birth to Qizai, causing this light color. Currently, Qizai is living at a research base in Foping, Shaanxi Province.
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