Giant Pandas

27-Mar-2006

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Panda bear cubs playing

The Latin name for Giant Panda is Ailuropoda Melaneuca. The second word means “black and white” in Latin. The pandas are one of the most recognisable mammals alive because of their black and white fur. Adult Giant Pandas grow to sizes of 160 to 190 centimetres and the adults weigh from 70 to 125 kilograms. The babies would only weigh about 85 to 140 grams.

Giant Pandas live in mountain forests of southwest China. This is where bamboo grows.

 

Cubs

Baby panda bear - tiny isn't it!Giant pandas usually live on their own except when producing babies. This is called a litter of cubs and they give birth to one two or sometimes even three but usually only one survives. The cub will stay with mum for up to 48 months. Baby pandas usually live in their mums tummy for three to five months. The mother panda gives birth in a den she has made in a cave or a hollow tree. The baby panda is tiny compared with its mum. It is only 15 centimetres long and weighs only one thousandth the weight of an adult panda.

This panda cub is only one day old and its eyes are still closed. They will not open until it is 6 weeks old.

Diet

Pandas use up to 14 hours a day eating food. That would take a while but because the bamboo is not so filling it will also eat branches, leaves and small mammals. They used to be carnivorous, but are now omnivorous, eating meat and plants> I know only two bamboo names, they are the Cold arrow and Walking stick. Did you also know that pandas unlike us just sleep when they feel like it.

Conservation

Bamboo cutting in China

Giant pandas numbers are decreasing rapidly and soon there will not be enough in the world Just to picture how it looks there are 1,000 giant pandas and more than 6 billion human beings in the world – that means that for every 6 million people on earth just one panda bear!People have found more ways to use bamboo too I hope there is enough to go around. The bamboo is being cut down faster than ever before.

Panda distribution in 1800 and today

 

This map shows where pandas used to live 200 years ago and where they live now.

One of the biggest threats to pandas is humans because of traditional beliefs that all the skin has magical powers and that their habitat is going as well as their food because of us thinking it a useful plant too.

Click for red panda info

RED PANDA

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This site was last updated 26-02-2006