Giant Panda

Giant Panda Facts
Size 3.9 - 4.9 ft (120 - 150 cm)
Speed Up to 19.8 mph (32 km/h) (short distances)
Weight Up to 352 lb (160 kg)
Lifespan 20 - 35 years
Food Bamboo
Predators Leopards, Birds of prey
Habitat China
Order Carnivore
Family Bears
Scientific name Ailuropoda melanoleuca
Characteristics Bamboo makes up 99 % of the panda’s food
Funny Panda Noises

Pandas seem to quietly munch away at their bamboo. Surprisingly enough, they are not as quiet as you might think. Sometimes you can hear them bleat in a friendly manner or blat like baby goats or lambs. They bark, growl and hiss, too. Baby pandas also quack and squeak.

Vegetarian Animal of Prey

Scientifically, Pandas have the anatomy of carnivores and are predators. However, they almost exclusively feed on bamboo. Yet, they also take some tasty fish or a small rodent for a snack in between sometimes.

Giant Panda Giant Panda - Photo: Birdiegal/Shutterstock

How did the Panda Get its Black and White Fur?

Scientists are not quite sure. They believe pandas might have developed a black and white fur in order to stand out against the colors of the jungle and to be able to find each other more easily.

Chubby Panda? Big Appetite!

Pandas spend at least 12 hours a day with munching away on 44 - 66.1 lb (20 – 30 kg) bamboo, which is about 40 % of their own weight.

The reason for this is not their love for food: Bamboo is not very nutritious, and this means that pandas need lots and lots of it. And eating so much is not even worth the trouble.

The panda can digest only 20 % of the food. 80 % are excreted undigested – more than 12 times a day ... stink alarm!

Giant Panda Babies Giant Panda Babies - Photo: Hung Chung Chih/Shutterstock

No Bamboo, No Panda

The Panda needs lots of bamboo, but it eats only about 25 of 100 species. In general, the panda changes its “restaurant” if there is no more bamboo available and moves on to another region. 

Unfortunately this is a problem, as humans take over more and more of the panda’s habitat and chop down the bamboo forests.

The panda is right on top of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a vulnerable species (luckily, since 2016 it is not threatened anymore but “only” endangered).

The nature conservation organization WWF estimates that there are only about 1,800 pandas left worldwide.

A Small Miracle

The birth of a panda is always a extraordinary event, because captive pandas only very rarely give birth. Yet, according to the Guinness Book of Records 2009, 30 (!) pandas were born in 2006, most of them in the Wolong Panda Research Centre, Southwest China.

Giant Panda Giant Panda - Photo: Dani Vincek/Shutterstock

Giant Panda Giant Panda - Photo: javarman/Shutterstock

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