For a long time, panda was considered to be the member of raccoon family. However, genetic research has revealed that these adorable and cuddly animals are actually bears of the family Ursidae. In the scientific world, panda bears are known as Ailuropoda melanoleuca which literally means, "black & white cat feet". Their resemblance to cats lies in their slit like pupils, giving their eyes a feline appearance. For this reason, the Chinese call these native animals Da Xiong Mao, meaning, "giant bear cats". Most people recognize these creatures as possessing white fur with black patches as you can see in the panda pictures. However, there is another type of this cute creature with a reddish-brown coat of fur and white patches.
Here are some fascinating panda bears facts to improve your knowledge about this beautiful creation of Nature.
- The combination of white and black helps these animals camouflage themselves in their snowy and rocky environment.
- The largest of these animals can grow as heavy as 250 pounds which is equal to the average weight of a grown up human being.
- They can attain a height of around five to six feet. On average, the males grow as tall as 3 feet while the females can be 2.5 feet tall.
- Bamboo shoots are the primary component of their diet. However, they are not herbivores. They have a digestive system which puts them in the category of omnivores. Still, they have only been known to feed on two types of bamboo: arrow bamboo and umbrella bamboo.
- Bamboo shoots have a very low nutritional value. Therefore, around forty pounds of this plant is needed to fulfill the daily nutritional requirement of these mammals. One of the most interesting panda facts is that they spend around twelve hours of each day chewing on and eating bamboos.
- Their white fur is very thick, woolly as well as oily to create an insulating layer, keeping them sufficiently warm in their extremely cold surroundings. This fur is also waterproof and, therefore, protects them from dampness in their wet and cold climate.
- They do not possess the wild and fierce nature of other such animals. In fact, they are rather shy and prefer to live in solitude, away from other creatures.
- They use bleating sounds to communicate among themselves. However, for the most of the time, they remain quiet and silent.
Other than leopards, which mostly attack the cubs, humans are their only predators. Unfortunately, the hunters have caused the numbers of these beautiful animals to dwindle quite rapidly. Today, the mountain forests of China are house to only a thousand to fifteen hundred of these cute creatures. Breeding centers and zoos in different parts of world contain hardly a hundred of them.
Giant pandas are the largest panda in the world. Known for their patched furry skin, they are usually found in limited areas of Central western and south-western China. Compared to their red furred siblings, giant panda normally live in high mountains or isolated parts.. Read More ->