*Giant Pandas sit upright to eat, like humans
*They have an extra digit which helps them grab their food.
*Giant pandas don’t roar but make a lot of other sounds like squeaks, growls and huffs.
*Giant Pandas have slit like pupils like cats.
*Panda cubs are born blind.
up to 20 years
220 to 250 pounds
The giant panda is classified as a carnivore, but its diet is actually more herbivorous, meaning that it eats mostly plants. Their diet consists almost entirely of bamboo, as they mainly live in bamboo forests. The panda can eat up to 30 pounds of bamboo shoots a day!
When giant pandas are full-grown, they are too large for many predators to kill them. But when they are cubs, pandas will be hunted by snow leopards, jackals, and yellow-throated martens.
The panda has the body of a bear but has very different fur colors than other bears. They have black fur on their ears, eyes, muzzle, legs, and arms. The rest of their bodies are covered in white fur. This fur coloring provides camouflage in the snowy mountains of China. Their fur keeps them warm in the cold forests of their habitat. Giant pandas also have large tails for bears, having the second-largest tail of any bear. Pandas have also adapted their hands to better hold bamboo shoots. They have a thumb and five fingers on their paws to hold the bamboo. When pandas are born, they are as small as a stick of butter!
Giant pandas are normally solitary and spend most of their time feeding and foraging through the bamboo forests. They are very territorial, and female pandas have been known to attack other females in their territory. The only encounters that usually happen are during the mating season, and the male panda will leave the female to take care of the cubs. Pandas can communicate with other pandas through scent markings and tree scratching. Pandas give birth to twins in about half of their pregnancies, but will only care for the stronger of the cubs. The cubs will live with their mothers until the age of two.
Habitat fragmentation is one of the biggest threats to the panda population. As forests are lost by deforestation, pandas are isolated from finding new forests and potential mating partners. Habitat loss has also cornered pandas into smaller territories and has caused pandas to fight over food. Pandas also have a very low birth rate in captivity and in the wild, as mothers will only take care of one cub, even if they have two.
How can you Help?
Learn all you can about the Giant Pandas and spread the word to others.
Educate communities about use of panda food sources as fuel.
Use care during tourism involving fragile habitats.