Giant panda is a bear species with distinctive black and white markings, and a short tail.
Giant Panda Definition
The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a bear species that has a round head, a stocky body with distinctive black and white markings, and a short tail. The ears, around the eyes, shoulders, and limbs are covered with black fur; the rest, with white. Another distinctive feature of giant pandas is having S-shaped backwardly-directed baculum rather than the straight and forwardly-directed as in many other mammals. (Ref.1) The typical body length of adult giant pandas ranges from 160 cm to 190 cm. Males are slightly longer and about 10% to 20% heavier than females. (Ref.2) In the wild, the weight of an adult male may be between 85 kg and 125 kg whereas the weight of an adult female, between 70 kg and 100 kg. (Ref.2) They feed chiefly on bamboo stems, branches, and leaves. Nevertheless, they also eat meat but only for a very small percentage of their diet. (Ref.2) Their molars and premolars are wider and flatter than the other bear species. Furthermore, they have extensive ridges and cusps that help grind bamboo. (Ref.1)
Giant pandas are found only in southwestern China. (Ref.2) The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the species as an Endangered Species. (Ref.1)
For more photos and info on giant pandas, especially their habitat, distribution, reproduction, and social system: see Giant Panda – Bears of the World.
• Kingdom: Animalia
• Phylum: Chordata
• Class: Mammalia
• Order: Carnivora
• Family: Ursidae
Scientific name:Ailuropoda melanoleuca
Other names:panda bear; panda
- Ailuropoda melanoleuca (giant panda). (2020). Animal Diversity Web. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Ailuropoda_melanoleuca/
- Giant Panda. (2017). International Association for Bear Research and Management. https://www.bearbiology.org/bear-species/giant-panda/
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