Interesting Facts About The Giant Panda
As true with most animals, there are so many Giant Panda facts that are unknown to the general population. However, we dug deep and found some of the most obscure facts we could find.
If you want to stay up to date with your Panda knowledge then keep reading to get the latest interesting facts about the giant panda and learn more about the conservation status of the Giant Panda, threats to the Giant Panda, and more!
What are Giant Pandas?
Giant pandas, also known as Panda Bear, are part of the bear family Ursidae. There has been a long debate about whether or not pandas are actually bears as they share characteristics of both bears and raccoons. For decades, people have been wondering, are they really bears? The short answer is yes.
Although these beautiful black and white creatures do share the raccoon's visual characteristics, Giant Pandas are 100% bears. Testing through DNA analysis was used to make this determination.
There is, however, another animal that shares the same named called the Red Panda. These cute creatures are not bears and are classified in a whole class of their own, called the Ailurus fulgens.
Why is the Giant Panda Endangered
Giant Pandas are listed on the endangered species list under the category of vulnerable. There are several reasons that these bears are facing extinction.
One reason is that they reproduce infrequently. Pandas are typically only fertile in the spring, once a year, and their fertile and receptive period only lasts 24 – 72 hours. This makes it difficult to carry on the species, especially when their numbers have dwindled enough to be on the endangered species list.
Another reason that the Giant Panda is endangered is due to habitat destruction. As the world's population grows, wild areas such as those that the Giant Panda's live on, diminish. When development occurs on land that would typical of the Giant Pandas habitat, it pushes the animals to smaller areas that are less suitable for their needs.
The destruction of a Pandas habitat impacts their overall living space, but it can also lead to severe food shortages.
Where do Giant Pandas live?
The only place you can find Giant Pandas in the wild is in China. The pandas live in the mountains and the forest areas of Southwest China.
What do Panda Eats?
Although Pandas are classified as carnivoran, most of their diet comes from Bamboo. Giant Panda's leave nothing to waste and consume all parts of bamboo such as the leaves, shoots, roots, and stems.
They can eat other food items such as small animals and eggs, but bamboo is their primary food source. Typically, they eat more than 20 pounds of bamboo a day, sometimes reaching up to 80+ pounds.
How much does the Giant Panda Weight?
Compared to other types of bears (black, brown) Giant Pandas are rather small. Typically, an adult will weigh anywhere between 150 – 280 pounds.
How many Giant Pandas Are Left?
Judging the exact number of endangered species in the wild can be difficult. However, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the current number of Giant Pandas left in 2014 was 1,864.
This is good news as the estimate in the 1980s was only 1,114. This change in population has moved them from the endangered list to vulnerable status, but remember, this is only an estimate. Pandas still need our help.
10 Giant Panda Facts
Now that you know some the basic information about them, you might want to know some interesting facts about the Giant Panda. There are many cool bits of information, but we have narrowed it down to a select few that we think you will enjoy the most! Lets dive right into 10 interesting facts about the Giant Panda that you need to know.
1. Pandas Can Swim and Climb Trees
Pandas are very active and seem to enjoy it. They can climb trees and swim, and even though adults do not have a lot of predators left, these activities can be used to escape danger. This is one of the reasons they sleep in trees; it is safer than being vulnerable on the ground to other animals or humans.
2. Pandas Have 6 Fingers
Of all the fun facts about the giant Panda – this is definitely a favorite! Panda's have 6 fingers, the additional finger can be compared to a human's thumb. It allows the Panda to grasp their food which makes it easier when handling and eating bamboo.
3. Baby Pandas are Born Fur less and Pink
When Giant Panda cubs are born, they are not the iconic black and white bundles of fur you might imagine. At birth, they have no fur, they are pink, and it takes about 3 weeks for their appearance to change.
4. Pandas Communicate Vocally and With Scent
Pandas typically communicate vocally, but their scent can tell other pandas many things. Pandas will mark their territory and areas they pass through. Other Pandas can use that scent to determine if other Pandas are in the area, if they are male or female and how old the scent is.
5. Most Panda Cubs are Protected During Their First Month
During the first month of a Pandas life, the mother stays with them 100% of the time and protects them. The Giant Panda cub will remain in front of the mother, with the mother covering them with her head, arm, or paw in a protective stance.
6. In The Case of Twins, One is Almost Always Abandoned
When pandas give birth to twins in the wild, which occurs often, the mother will determine which one is stronger and only take care of that one. The reason is that the female Panda only has enough energy and milk to ensure one lives and survives. Hence, she chooses the one with the best chance of long-term survival.
7. Pandas Do Not Hibernate
Unlike most bears, Panda Bears do not hibernate. This is due to their diet. Their bamboo diet does not provide them with the fat stores they would need to hibernate for the winter months to survive.
8. Pandas Like Alone Time, But Aren't Loners
This sentence seems a little weird, but unlike other animals, they are not actually loners but do enjoy living alone and spending time by themselves. Even though they do not live with other pandas (except during the first month of life), they occasionally spend time together.
9. Adult Pandas Do Not Have Predators
Once a Panda becomes an adult, they do not really have any predators. This is because they are large, relatively fast, and formidable. However, cubs need to worry about predators such as snow leopards, eagles, black bears, and wild dogs.
10. Pandas Give Birth in Birthing Dens They Create
Even though Pandas do not hibernate, they still create dens. However, these dens are only used by females when they are ready to give birth.
How you can help Giant Pandas
Now that you have learned some interesting facts about the Giant Panda you may be wondering what you can do to help this magnificent creature.
Some common ways are volunteering your time at animal conservation organizations or by donating money. If you would like to help but do not have a lot of disposable income, you can shop from companies that donate part of each purchases to charities that support the Giant Panda.
One of these companies is Soctuary, a brand that sells fun animal socks that give back. For every pair of Giant Panda socks they sell, they donate 10% to Panda International.
Panda International raises money and uses it to help with captive breeding programs, environmental enrichment, medical equipment/supplies, and more.
So, by purchasing panda socks, you not only get the benefit of knowing your purchase is going to a good cause but you also get a cute new pair of socks that you can wear or gift to another fellow animal lover.
You May Also Like: