Black and white, cuddly and endangered, which can only be the Giant Panda!
Read on for 25 interesting facts about Giant Pandas!
The Latin for Giant Panda is ‘ailuropda melanoleuca’.
In China, they are known as ‘da xiong mao’, which means giant bear cat.
Male pandas are called boars. Female pandas are called sows. Their young are known as cubs.
Cubs are born blind, but sadly survival rate is low.
In captivity, giant pandas can live up to 35 years, but only 15 in the wild.
Like a cat, pandas have slit-like pupils.
A Chinese story tells us that pandas were originally white. When a shepherdess died protecting a panda, they held a funeral for her. The pandas wore black clothes and their tears mingled with the dye of the fabric, staining their fur.
The fur is patterned to break up its outline as camouflage in forests to protect itself.
Their fur is also waterproof.
An average male can grow up to 6ft in length (from snout to tail) and weigh in at 100kg.
99% of a Giant Panda’s diet is made up of branches, stems, and leaves of the bamboo plant.
They spend up to sixteen hours a day eating to gain enough sustenance.
They sit upright to eat, like a human.
It has an extra digit on its paw-like an opposable thumb.
Its extra digit is adapted to grasp food.
A Giant Panda has flat molars with ridges and cusps for chewing and grinding food.
Pandas are shy and solitary creatures.
Unlike other bears, Giant Pandas do not roar but have eleven different vocalizations.
Giant pandas are flat-footed, like humans, but this does not stop them from climbing into trees for an afternoon nap.
Their anal sweat glands secrete smells to mark their territories.
The Giant Panda lives in the mountain forests of southwest China, usually the Gansu, Shanxi, and Sichuan provinces.
The deforestation of the provinces push pandas further out of their habitats and has caused a serious decline in population.
They are symbols of peace in China.
They are also the symbol for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), formally known as World Wildlife Fund.
Dreamworks produced a film about a panda who learns Kung Fu. The film was Kung Fu Panda (2008) and featured Jack Black in the role of Po, the panda.