Animals

Giant Panda | Amazing Facts

Giant Panda Amazing facts 4u

50  Amazing Facts About Giant Panda | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. Pandas have lived on earth for amazing two to three million years.
  2. The word “panda” may have developed from the Nepalese word poonya, which means “bamboo-eating animal” or “plant-eating animal.
  3. The giant panda’s black and white coat and prominent black eye patches have made it one of the best known species, although it is among the rarest animals in the world.
  4. Under its fur, the skin of a giant panda is in fact black where its fur is black, and pink where its fur is white.
  5. 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.
  6. The giant panda is a solitary animal, which spends about two-thirds of its day feeding and the remainder resting.
  7. An adult giant panda weighs about 200-300 pounds (90-135 kg). On all fours, a giant panda stand about 3 feet (.9 m) tall at the shoulder and measures about 5 feet (1.5 m) long. Males are about 10% larger than females.
  8. Adult pandas are so large that they do not have many natural enemies. Snow leopards, however, will prey on vulnerable panda cubs or old and sick adult pandas.
  9. Amazing fact is that the giant panda feeds almost exclusively 99 % on the stems, leaves and fresh young shoots of bamboo. There are about 20 different species of bamboo that pandas will eat. However bamboo is so nutritionally poor that the pandas have to consume up to 20 to 45  kg each day which can take up to 16 hours.
  10. Panda’s digestive system is designed for meat. In fact, pandas absorb only 20%-30 % of bamboo nutrients unlike plant eaters like deer absorbing about 80 %.An adult giant panda in spring can produce about 25 kg of droppings in 24 hours.
  11. The extra digit on the panda’s hand helps them to tear the bamboo and their throat and gut is covered with a thick layer of mucus to protect against splinters.
  12. The giant panda has the largest molar teeth of any carnivore. Their lower jaw has an extra molar.Their molar and pre-molar teeth are adapted to slice and crush tough plants stems. Their strong jaws can crush bamboo stems up to 4 cm in diameter.
  13. A giant panda’s face is not chubby. It gets its shape from massive cheek muscles. In fact, a giant panda’s jaw and cheek muscles are so powerful that a panda can easily chew an aluminum dish into tiny pieces.
  14. Giant pandas have 42 teeth. Like humans, giant pandas have two sets of teeth in their lifetime.
  15. A pair of breeding pandas needs more than 11 square miles of land. One giant panda usually needs between 2.5 to 4 square miles of land to survive. It is very rare to see more than one panda at a time in the wild. Giant pandas cannot afford the energy it would take to compete with one another for food, territory, and mates.
  16. A panda’s paw has six digits , five fingers and an opposable pseudo thumb (an enlarged wrist bone) . It uses it merely to hold bamboo while eating.
  17. Pandas may climb as high as 4,000 meters to feed on higher slopes in the summer season.
  18. They are skilled tree climbers and efficient swimmers. Pandas can takes refuge in the nearest tree when in danger from predators such as brown bears, leopards, or wild dogs. Its paws are broad with long retractile claws and furry undersides which help it grip when climbing.
  19. The giant panda does not hibernate but it will shelter in caves or hollow trees in very cold weather.
  20. The panda uses its stump-like tail like a brush to mark territory with ‘scent’ produced by scent glands located beneath the tail.
  21. Pandas have a highly developed sense of smell that males use to avoid each other and to find females for mating in the spring.
  22. Female pandas ovulate once a year and are fertile for only two or three days.
  23. Five months after mating, a single cub is born in a nest of bamboo. It is rare for a female panda to give birth to twins; if she does so, the second weaker cub is unlikely to survive as the mother may ignore it as she does not have enough energy to care for two cubs.
  24. Amazing fact is that once they have mated, females chase the males out of their territory and raise their cubs on their own.
  25. Giant panda cubs are usually born in August or September and are the size of a stick of butter. A cub has pink skin, a thin coat of white fur, a long tail, and no teeth. Its eyes are closed. By the end of the first month, the baby panda has all of its spots. Its eyes open around 4-6 weeks. A baby panda is almost 2 months old before it is the size of an average human newborn baby. A baby is almost 2 years old when it leaves its mother.
  26. The blind infants weigh only about 140 gm at birth . A newborn panda cub is 1/900th the size of its mother and can not crawl until they reach three months of age. A cub has pink skin, a thin coat of white fur, a long tail, and no teeth. By the end of the first month, the baby panda has all of its spots. Its eyes open around 4-6 weeks. It is almost 2 months old before it is the size of an average human newborn baby.
  27. More than half of newborn pandas die from diseases or from being accidentally crushed by their mothers.
  28. They are in fact born white, and develop their coloring later. The eyespots of a giant panda cub are initially in the shape of a circle. As the cub grows, the circles become shaped like a teardrop.
  29. It stays with its mother for about 2 years, until it is independent enough to establish its own territory.
  30. There are only about 1,000 giant pandas left in the wild. The Chinese once hunted it , however today hunting carries strict penalties in China.
  31. The giant panda has been an endangered species list since 1990. The most significant threats to pandas are habitat loss and poaching. A panda fur is worth between $60,000 and $100,000 on the illegal trade market.
  32. Bamboo reaches its flowering cycle every 30-120 years. After bamboo flowers, the entire species of bamboo dies in a process called bamboo dieback. It can take up to 10-15 years for the bamboo to grow back. Pandas have usually been able to migrate to other areas, but they have lost so much of thei habitant to humans that migration has become increasingly difficult.
  33. The main cause of the panda’s decline now is the erosion of its habitat due to the clearing of areas for crop cultivation. It frequently starves to death.
  34. In China, special sanctuaries have been established with sufficient space for 500-600 giant pandas.  Both Chinese and American scientists are monitoring conservation programs. Scientists are hoping to increase the wild panda population to 5,000 by 2025.
  35. There are only about 240 captive pandas in the world. They are all part of a breeding program. All pandas in the world are owned by China. They rent them out to zoos for $1million per year each for a minimum of 10 years.
  36. Keeping even a single panda in a zoo is expensive. A panda costs five times more to keep than the next most expensive animal, an elephant.
  37. The first giant panda ever to be born in captivity was born in a Beijing zoo in 1963.
  38. It was not until the 20th century that giant pandas became known to the rest of the world outside of China. The first live giant Panda to leave China was in 1936 was named Su-Lin . He arrived at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago USA.
  39. Fashion designer and socialite Ruth Harkness (1900-1947), without training or experience, became the first Westerner to capture and present a live giant panda to the world outside China.
  40. Richard Nixon was the first U.S. president to ever visit China in 1972 and he received two pandas from the Chinese leader, Chairman Mao. The two pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, were placed in the National Zoo in Washington D.C. More than 1 million people visited them during their first year there.
  41. Pandas can stand upright, but their short hind legs aren’t strong enough to support their bodies. A panda’s bones are twice as heavy as the bones of other animals the same size.
  42. Pandas are pigeon-toed; in other words, they walk with their front paws turned inward.
  43. Pandas have plantigrade feet meaning their entire foot (toes and heel) touches the ground when walking similar to the way humans, other bears, and rodents walk. Other animals, such as dogs, cats, and horses walk with their weight on their toes.
  44. Pandas do not run fast a slow trot is as fast as they can go.
  45. Of all the members of the bear family, only sloth bears have longer tails than pandas.
  46. Panda researchers have counted 11 different panda calls and four of them are used only when searching for a mate.
  47. The giant panda’s genome was sequenced in 2009 according to the journal Nature.
  48. Pandas have been a symbol of peace in China. For example, hundreds of years ago, warring tribes in China would raise a flag with a picture of a panda on it to stop a battle or call a truce.
  49. The WWF logo was inspired by Chi-Chi, a giant panda brought to the London Zoo in 1961, when WWF was being created in 1961, one of those founders who sketched the first logo said: “We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs.”
  50. The life span of giant pandas in the wild is approximately 20 years. Captive pandas may live to be 25-30 years old.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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