The giant panda also has an opposable thumb. Giant pandas have a thumb pad on the hand. The panda can press this pad against the pad of its palm.
Play media Panda eating, standing, playing Despite its taxonomic classification as a carnivoranthe giant panda's diet is primarily herbivorousconsisting almost exclusively of bamboo.
Its ability to digest cellulose is ascribed to the microbes in its gut. Ingestion of such a large quantity of material is possible because of the rapid passage of large amounts of indigestible plant material through the short, straight digestive tract.
Given this voluminous diet, the giant panda defecates up to 40 times a day. The giant panda tends to limit its social interactions and avoids steeply sloping terrain to limit its energy expenditures.
Anthropologist Russell Ciochon observed: This lower metabolic rate and a more sedentary lifestyle allows the giant panda to subsist on nutrient poor resources such as bamboo.
The morphological characteristics of extinct relatives of the giant panda suggest that while the ancient giant panda was omnivorous 7 million years ago myait only became herbivorous some Pandas eat any of 25 bamboo species in the wild, such as Fargesia dracocephala  and Fargesia rufa.
Bamboo leaves contain the highest protein levels; stems have less. While primarily herbivorous, the giant panda still retains decidedly ursine teeth, and will eat meat, fish, and eggs when available. In captivity, zoos typically maintain the giant panda's bamboo diet, though some will provide specially formulated biscuits or other dietary supplements.
They took note of their foraging and mating habits, and analysed samples of their food and feces. The pandas would move from the valleys into the Qinling Mountains and would only return to the valleys in autumn. During the summer months bamboo shoots rich in protein are only available at higher altitudes which causes low calcium rates in the pandas and during breeding season the pandas would trek back down to eat bamboo leaves rich in calcium.
Social encounters occur primarily during the brief breeding season in which pandas in proximity to one another will gather.
Due to their sheer size, pandas do not need to fear predators like other herbivores. They can therefore be active at any time of the day. For this reason, pandas do not hibernatewhich is similar to other subtropical mammals, and will instead move to elevations with warmer temperatures. The normal reproductive rate is considered to be one young every two years.
Giant pandas reach sexual maturity between the ages of four and eight, and may be reproductive until age Copulation time is short, ranging from 30 seconds to five minutes, but the male may mount her repeatedly to ensure successful fertilization.
The gestation period ranges from 95 to days. The mother will select the stronger of the cubs, and the weaker will die. The mother is thought to be unable to produce enough milk for two cubs, since she does not store fat.
For three to four hours, the mother may leave the den to feed, which leaves the cub defenseless. One to two weeks after birth, the cub's skin turns gray where its hair will eventually become black.
A slight pink color may appear on cub's fur, as a result of a chemical reaction between the fur and its mother's saliva. A month after birth, the color pattern of the cub's fur is fully developed.
Its fur is very soft and coarsens with age. The cub begins to crawl at 75 to 80 days;  mothers play with their cubs by rolling and wrestling with them. The cubs can eat small quantities of bamboo after six months,  though mother's milk remains the primary food source for most of the first year.
The interval between births in the wild is generally two years.
In JulyChinese scientists confirmed the birth of the first cub to be successfully conceived through artificial insemination using frozen sperm.
This has resulted in panda fetuses, but no live births. Mo Chinese zoology In the past, pandas were thought to be rare and noble creatures — the Empress Dowager Bo was buried with a panda skull in her vault.
The grandson of Emperor Taizong of Tang is said to have given Japan two pandas and a sheet of panda skin as a sign of goodwill.
Unlike many other animals in Ancient Chinapandas were rarely thought to have medical uses. The few known uses include the Sichuan tribal peoples' use of panda urine to melt accidentally swallowed needles, and the use of panda pelts to control menses as described in the Qin Dynasty encyclopedia Erya.
Zouyu is a legendary "righteous" animal, which, similarly to a qilinonly appears during the rule of a benevolent and sincere monarch. It is said to be fierce as a tigerbut gentle and strictly vegetarian, and described in some books as a white tiger with black spots.
Puzzled about the real zoological identity of the creature captured during the Yongle era, J. Duyvendak exclaims, "Can it possibly have been a Pandah? Western discovery The West first learned of the giant panda on 11 Marchwhen the French missionary Armand David  received a skin from a hunter.
The first Westerner known to have seen a living giant panda is the German zoologist Hugo Weigoldwho purchased a cub in The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is universally admired for its appealing markings and seemingly gentle demeanour.
A member of the bear family, the giant panda is a robust animal with heavy shoulders and a distinctive black and white coat (2). Most of the body and belly of the giant panda. Tidbits *** The giant panda’s diet specialization is very unusual in mammals.
Only a handful of animals are predominantly dependent on bamboo, including the red panda, bamboo lemurs (golden bamboo lemur, greater bamboo lemur and bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus)) found in Madagascar, and bamboo rats (including Rhizomys sinensis, R.
pruinosus, and R. sumatrensis) found in China and . Giant pandas are native to central China and have come to symbolize vulnerable species. As few as 1, giant pandas live in their native habitat, while another pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world.
Giant Panda Facts. Length: Average is 5 to 6 feet for males, slightly less for females.; Tail length: About one half foot (6 inches).; Height: Average is 2 to 3 feet for males, about half a foot less for females; Weight: Males weigh about to leslutinsduphoenix.coms weigh about to pounds.
The giant Panda bear weight depends on many factors including diet and environment. In the wild, giant pandas are only found in the remote, mountainous regions of central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, according to the National Zoo.
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