Giant panda

Facts about Giant panda

We found 25 facts about Giant panda

The only bear that does not hibernate during winter

Pandas are incredibly strange representatives of Bears (Ursidae family). Despite being carnivores, most of their diet consists of plants. Interestingly, they have no anatomical adaptations for such a diet. The panda's digestion of plants is done by microorganisms living in its digestive system, without which it would not be able to eat its favorite bamboo.

The giant panda is the only living representative of the pandas, and although the species was threatened with extinction, thanks to intensive conservation efforts, its population has been increasing in recent years. It has also been possible to breed pandas in captivity, which is not a simple thing and initially resulted in the deaths of many cubs.

Giant panda
The giant panda is a predatory mammal of the bear family.
It is the only living representative of pandas; in addition to the great panda, four more extinct species have been classified.
The great panda inhabits a small area in central China.
They are found in the provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu. However, the range of these mammals has decreased significantly due to the drastic deforestation that occurred in the 20th century.
Its natural habitat is forested, mountainous areas between 1600 and 2000 meters above sea level.
They do not build shelters like other bears, and during the winter season, they descend to lower altitudes where they live among trees or inhabit caves.
These animals are covered with lush black and white fur.
They have black ears, eye frames, snouts, and paws; the rest of their body is white. The body structure is characteristic of bears. It has not been clearly shown why pandas have such contrasting coloration. Perhaps it allows them to camouflage themselves effectively in snowy mountain environments.
Females are slightly smaller than males (10 to 20%).
Adults are 120 to 190 cm (47 to 75 in) long, of which about 10 to 15% is the tail. The weight of an adult male is about 160 kg (350 lbs) and of a female about 125 kg (275 lb), although there are females weighing only 70 kg (154 lbs).
Compared to other bears, the giant panda has a long tail.
The only bear whose tail is longer than the great panda is the sloth bear, whose tail can reach 17 cm (6,7 in).
Although it is representative of carnivorous bears, the species became a food specialist about 2.4 million years ago and feeds almost exclusively on bamboo shoots and other plants. Occasionally, pandas also eat small mammals and fish.
Young panda cubs are born unable to digest bamboo and acquire this ability with the bacterial flora they receive from their mother's milk.
Despite a primarily plant-based menu, the panda's digestive system and dentition are still characteristic of carnivores.
The digestion efficiency of plant foods is very low in pandas which translates into small amounts of energy and protein.
To satiate themselves, an adult panda must eat between 9 and 14 kilograms (20 - 30 pounds) of bamboo shoots per day.
The digestive system is relatively short, and food passes through it quickly so that pandas can eat such large amounts of food.
Due to the nature of their diet, pandas are not very mobile animals.
They conserve energy whenever possible and only migrate when they feel threatened or when food is scarce in their current territory.
In addition to a plant-based diet, some zoos provide pandas with specially prepared treats composed of animal ingredients.
These include fish, meat, or eggs.
They are solitary animals tied to their territory. Females, in particular, are sensitive to other females nearby.
They mate during the breeding season, and males leave the females to raise their offspring after the breeding.
The breeding season begins in March and lasts until May. Heat in females lasts two to three days and occurs only once a year.
Copulation can last from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, but these acts can be repeated when the male wants to ensure he has fertilized the female.
The gestation period of the giant panda can last from 95 to 160 days.
This discrepancy in time is because the fertilized egg may stay in the reproductive system for a long time before attaching to the uterine wall.
Newborn pandas are pink, blind, and toothless.
They weigh between 90 and 130 g and immediately begin feeding on their mother's milk. This feeding can take up to half an hour and occurs six to fourteen times a day. Young's skin turns gray one to two weeks after birth.
One month after birth, baby pandas turn white and black.
Initially, their fur is delicate and soft and becomes stiff as they age.
The mother feeds her offspring with milk for about a year. During this time, they reach a weight of about 45 kg (100 lbs).
Baby pandas do not start eating small amounts of bamboo until six months after birth. They remain in their mother's care until 18 to 24 months after birth.
They reach sexual maturity at four to eight years of age.
They remain sexually active until about age twenty.
About half of the pandas born are twins. Of the twins born, usually only one survives to adulthood, as the mother usually chooses the stronger young to feed while the other dies of starvation.
Because of the mother's inability to store fat, her body is unable to produce enough milk to feed all of her babies. One to three young may be born during a single pregnancy.
The average lifespan of a giant panda in the wild is 10 to 15 years.
In captivity, they live up to 30 years, and the record holder has reached the age of 34 years.
Unlike other bears, the giant panda does not go into hibernation.
Due to the nature of their diet, pandas defecate up to 40 times a day.
The food excreted by the panda is not well digested because the time spent in the digestive system is too short to undergo all the necessary processes.
The genome of the giant panda was sequenced in 2009.
Because of its size, the giant panda has no natural enemies (except humans).
However, the cubs are threatened by snow leopards, yellow-crowned martens, wild dogs, Himalayan bears, and eagles.
The giant panda is a species at risk of extinction.
Its status went up from endangered in 2014 when its population surpassed 1850. This was a 17 percent increase in numbers since 2003, when China's panda population was 1,600.
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