Ever ask yourself, what is a giant panda? Well you’re in luck because that’s the topic of this article. When you think of a giant panda I’m sure most people can picture the iconic animal and for the most part know at least a little bit about this mammal. Let’s take a closer look at these amazing creatures and see if we can learn a little bit!
What is a giant panda?
Giant Panda is one of the most gullible mammals. This white and black colored animal appears simplest yet lovable. Panda is protected in the national bamboo forests in China. The highest population of the Panda bear is concentrated in South Central China and considered one of the national treasures of the country, and thus it is protected from extinction in all the ways.
It is widely found in China, but these cute large bear cats are loved across the globe. The species of the bear was invented over a century ago in 1869 by French Missionary Pere Armand David. The science then revealed all the facts about the animal. Now, the world makes combined efforts to preserve the Giant Panda.
Red Panda and neighboring musteloids appear very close in looks to the Panda Bear, so to maintain the difference it was named as Giant Panda.
The soft bear has black and white fur all over its body. Adult males are generally 60 to 90 cm tall. If we talk about the length, it is 1.2 to 1.9 m, and the tail is 10 to 15 cm. The total weight of the Pandas can go as high as 350 lbs.
Now, considering the female Panda Animal, it is usually 10 to 20% smaller than the males. The weight of females is close to 150 to 270 lbs. In short, the average weight for adults is 100 to 300 lbs.
The body shape of the Black Panda is similar to that of the Panda species and typical bears. The black fur is usually found on its ears, shoulders, eye patches, legs, arms, and muzzles. Apart from these parts, the rest of the body of these animals is white, giving it a proportionate black and white appearance.
There are no Facts About Panda that can justify the reason for its body color. However, the bold color and appearance help to camouflage in their snowy rocky habitat. The thick fur of Panda all over the body provides it with essential covering and immunity to the body to survive in the extreme cold temperatures.
The skull shape of this giant animal is similar to that of the Durophagy carnivorous. Comparing the species with their ancestors, traits have been found for the similarities in teeth. The animal has giant complex molars, and it is much more typical in the temporal fossa. The teeth structure for an adult panda of an average weight close to 245 lbs has a 3-D canine teeth bite. The force of the 3-D teeth of the Black Panda increases as per its weight.
Paw of this Panda has one thumb and five fingers. The thumb is highly flexible and used to hold the bamboo to support the Panda while eating. The tail of this Panda Bear is the second largest in the family.
Life of this Panda Animal is around 20 years for the wild breed, and for that of the captivity, it is 30 years. Till date, the female panda who was born in the year 1978 and died in October 2016, was the oldest in the species.
These animals are solitary. Each one of them has its territory and only one female living in an area. No two females can tolerate another female in their region. In short, they live isolated from one another. During the brief breeding season, there is a social gathering. In this season, the males leave the female panda alone in proximity to deliver and raise the cub.
China Panda is usually thought to belong to the crepuscular category. The animals falling under this category are generally active twice a day, i.e., at the dawn and the dusk. Well, as per the research of the scientist Jindong Zhang, the Behavior of The Giant Panda can be specific. Depending on their size, they can be active at any point in the time during the morning, day, or evening.
The activities of these animals are noticeably the highest during June. It is lowest during the late summer, and they start to regain strength from November. In short, they remain active in winters compared to summers. These animals receive energy from the sunlight. So, their activity is directly proportional to the intensity of the sun during winters.
The source of communication for Pandas is Vocalization and the scent. They do not stay in a single place. They climb and find their shelter in hollow trees and rock caves. Pandas climb the elevations in search of warmth. The primary reliance of this species is spatial vision compared to visual memory.
In earlier times, the reproduction of the species was done through artificial insemination. However, it was not a feasible option to go with. Capturing the pandas lost their interest in mating.
Then the scientists thought to take it differently by giving Sildenafil to the males; it is commonly known as Viagra. With years of experience, scientists have now succeeded in gaining success in the reproduction and natural mating of the pandas. The reproduction rate of these cute pandas is now comparable to American Black Bear.
So, You can find one Baby Panda once in every two years. They are growing at a slow rate, but they are now multiplying constantly. Usually, these animals are reproductive from the age of four to eight years, and their reproductive life lasts as long as 20 years.
The mating session is generally between March to May. Copulation time of the species is 30 seconds to five minutes. However, the male partner continues to mount on the female, to ensure successful fertilization.
The gestation period usually lasts between 95 to 170 days. More than half of the pregnancies result in the birth of twins. Out of the two Baby Pandas, the stronger one survives. Only one of the two newborn pandas survives.
The newborn Panda weighs close 800 the time of the mother. Its approximate weight is 3.2 to 4.6 ounces. Young ones get their food by nursing to the Mother’s breast for a minimum of 10 to 14 times a day. The minimum nursing time is 30 minutes each time.
Vocalization of pandas
Pandas usually bleat. It is the same sound that is made by the kids of goat or a lamb. Their voice is highly pleasant and friendly. These animals do not roar like a wild bear. Some other sounds made by the Panda Bear is barks, huffs, croaks, and growl.
The sound of the young cubs is called the croaks and squeal. There is yet another exciting way in which the pandas communicate with each other. They have a scent gland hidden beneath their tale. It excretes a waxy substance, and every Panda has a unique scent. These Pandas leave their essence on bamboos, trees, rocks, and bushes. The smell of their perfume is overpowering and human may find it stinking.
Male pandas can also leave their scent with a handstand. The scent marks also reveal the height of Pandas. The pandas with the highest scent mark are usually the tallest and vice versa.
Giant Panda is mostly found in southwestern China. Panda Habitat is damp and moist forests. They can be mostly seen at 4,500 to 11,000 feet. The requirement for their habitat includes access to the waterfront, minimum of two species of the bamboo, and growth conifer forests.
The minimum space requirement of the habitat of the Panda is 3 to 7 square miles; it equates to a range of 8 to 18 km. This species usually spend most of the time sleeping and eating.
Pandas require plenty of food for their survival. Now, if you want to know What Do Pandas Eat? The simple answer is Bamboo. Pandas eat bamboo almost 12 hours in a day. They hold bamboo through their wrist and keep eating the sticks. They are never content quickly, as bamboo is too slow in nutrients.
They peel off the tough layers of the plant using their sharp teeth. If they are in the natural habitat, they rely on the bamboo sticks and leaves. Now, if they are in the zoo, the species depend on fruits like apples, plum, yams, carrots, bamboo, and some specially designed biscuits.
These biscuits are called the leaf eater biscuits. The artificially designed cookies are formulated, keeping in mind the vitamin and minerals required by the bodies of the Panda. Sometimes, you can even find Pandas eating raw insects, rotten, other dead, and small living organisms. Well, it is not right for all the pandas.
Sleeping Pattern Information about The Pandas
After their every meal you can find Panda Sleeping for two to four hours. The wild pandas are not very active, and you can find them dizzy almost at every point of the time. Irrespective of the day and the night, it is a lazy species.
Their activeness considerably reduces in the summer. However, in between two meals, they need sleep to digest and convert the feed into energy.
Giant Panda conservation
We can hear almost everywhere about the conservation of Pandas. There is natural habitat as well as the zoo found for their preservation in China. It is not only the concern of China but also an international matter of concern.
Now, if you ask, Why is Giant Panda Endangered? The reason is that the rate of its fertilization, reproduction, and multiplication is low. Also, they live for a limited duration of 30 years. So, it becomes highly essential to save the species.
I hope we’ve answered some questions about giant pandas in this article, most importantly what is a giant a giant panda. To learn more about the giant panda, visit worldwildlife.org.