Giant panda Introduction
The giant panda also known as the panda bear or simply the panda, is a large bear native to south central China. The Giant Panda is a medium to large sized bear that like other species has a large head, short tail and a long muzzle with a large nose, which gives them an excellent sense of smell. The thick fur of the Giant Panda is creamy-white in colour with large patches of black on the limbs, shoulders, ears and nose, and distinctive black patches around their small eyes. The Giant Panda eats almost only bamboo and so has a number of physical adaptations to help with its consumption including an extension of their wrist bone which acts a bit like a thumb, allowing the Giant Panda to grip onto bamboo stems. They also have large jaws with strong jaw muscles that along with their flat molars, allow the Giant Panda to crush bamboo stems and leaves in order to extract the nutrients.
Historically, the Giant Panda would have been found throughout the lowlands of the Yangtze River Basin but increased Human activity in these areas has pushed the Giant Pandas high up into the mountains. Remote populations are still found in six different mountain ranges in central and western China, where they inhabit broadleaf and coniferous forests with a thick bamboo under-storey at elevations between 5,000 and 13,000 feet. These high-altitude forests are cool, cloudy and moist and are generally subjected to a high level of rainfall.
Keywords to learn
Evergreen: A plant that retains green leaves throughout the year
- Lifespan:20 years.
- Scientific Name:Ailuropoda melanoleuca.
- Mass:300 pounds.
- Length:4 to 5 feet.
- Region found:Mountains of central China.
- Population Status:Vulnerable.
- Current population trend:Increasing.
- Sexual maturity:4 – 8 years.
As you have just learned, the Giant panda is one of the most easily recognizable animal in the world yet it being so rare. this animal is the national animal of china as its only found there.
Now that you know more about the Giant panda by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
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Giant panda Fun Facts for Kids
- # 1.It is thought that the unique coloration of the Giant Panda may help them to blend into these misty forests when they are foraging for food.
- # 2. Giant pandas are solitary. They have a highly developed sense of smell that males use to avoid each other and to find females for mating in the spring.
- # 3. After a five-month pregnancy, females give birth to a cub or two, though they cannot care for both twins. The blind infants weigh only 5 ounces at birth and cannot crawl until they reach three months of age. They are born white, and develop their much loved coloring later.
- # 4. As bamboo is not particularly nutritious, the Giant Panda must eat lots of bamboo every day and can consume up to 30kg of bamboo leaves, shoots and stems which is roughly 40% of its body weight. Giant Pandas therefore dedicate between 12 and 15 hours a day to munching bamboo which they do by sitting down, allowing their front paws to grip onto the plants.
- # 5. Panda Bear cubs are very underdeveloped at birth measuring as little as 15cm and weighing only 100g, they are made even more vulnerable by the fact that they are also blind and hairless and don’t begin to crawl until they are nearly three months old. Even if a female gives birth to twins she can only care for one that rides on her back until it is 6 months old and is then able to precariously trot beside her. Panda Bear cubs are weaned when they are around a year old but don’t leave their mother until they are 18 months old.
# 1. At what altitude does the Giant panda live at?
# 2. What is the average lifespan of the Giant panda?
# 3. What order does the Giant panda live at?
# 4. What is the diet of the Giant panda?
# 5. Where is the giant panda found?