Is a panda a carnivore or an herbivore?
Physiologically, giant pandas are carnivores -- they are made to eat meat -- but they prefer a vegetarian diet. Herbivores are, by definition, anatomically suited to a plant-based diet. The giant panda is no herbivore. He's essentially a vegetarian, a carnivore that eats little meat.
Giant panda, (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), also called panda bear, bearlike mammal inhabiting bamboo forests in the mountains of central China. Its striking coat of black and white, combined with a bulky body and round face, gives it a captivating appearance that has endeared it to people worldwide.
- About the size of an American black bear, giant pandas stand between 2 and 3 feet (60 to 90 centimeters) tall at the shoulder (on all four legs), and reach 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters) long. Males are larger than females, weighing up to 250 pounds (113 kilograms) in the wild.
- Native to Chinese bamboo forests, the panda was upgraded from endangered to vulnerable on the Red List of Threatened Species, managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The newest update to the list includes 82,954 species, 23,928 of which are threatened with extinction.
- Giant pandas face very few predators. A fully grown panda is far too formidable a foe for most predators, but some animals can prey on cubs. Potential predators include jackals, snow leopards and yellow-throated martens, all of which are capable of killing and eating panda cubs.
Scientists are not sure why panda's fur is colored in such a unique way. Color of the skin is specific also. Skin is black under the black fur and pink under the white fur. Due to their large size, panda don't have natural enemies.
- Pandas' eyes actually are not that big, but the patches of black make them look huge. And just as with human babies -and they are cute - pandas' heads are quite large in relation to their bodies. Nobody thinks rats are cute.
- Research at Georgia Tech and Zoo Atlanta shows that giant pandas can distinguish between color and various shades of gray. They may be black and white, but new research at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Zoo Atlanta shows that giant pandas can see in color.
- The first pandas. The giant panda itself appeared suddenly during the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene, perhaps no more than two to three million years ago. Panda fossils have been found in Burma, Vietnam, and particularly in early in eastern China, as far north as Beijing.
A panda is a vertebrate because invertebrates, like jelly fish, have no backbone. Pandas have backbones, which means that they are vertebrates.
- Red Pandas are very skillful and acrobatic animals that stay predominantly in trees. They live in territories, frequently as loners, and only rarely live in pairs or in groups of families. Red pandas use their long, bushy tails to balance when they're in trees.
- Wild, endangered animals have all the drawbacks of unendangered wild pets plus are illegal. If you want to "own" a red panda, research zoos that have programs which allow you to "adopt" a zoo animal. A zoo with red pandas and an "Adopt a zoo animal" program would be happy to sign you up.
- Snow Leopards and Martens are the only real predators of the Red Panda along with Birds of Prey and small carnivores that prey on the smaller and more vulnerable cubs. The biggest threat to the Red Panda however is people who have affected this species mainly through deforestation of their incredibly unique habitats.
Updated: 3rd October 2019