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What Are the Different Panda Species?

Pandas eat bamboo.
Pandas sometimes eat bananas.
Giant panda in a tree.
Red panda climbing on a branch.
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  • Written By: Matthew F.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2014
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There are two different panda species in the world and both species are viewed as threatened in the wild. The Giant Panda is easily recognized, due to the black patches around each of the eyes, ears and other portions of the body. The Giant Pandas are only found in China and Tibet when in the wild. Both of the panda species diet consists of a majority of bamboo stems, leaves and shoots. The Giant species will typically consume nearly 80 pounds (36.4 kg) of bamboo each day. Pandas will also eat honey, eggs, fish, oranges and bananas when they are available. They will typically spend around 16 hours a day just eating. The panda has a paw consisting of a thumb and four fingers. The thumb’s only essential duty is to hold bamboo while eating.

The average height of the Giant Pandas will reach five to six feet high (152.5-183 cm), or the height of an average human. Their weight is much heavier, and the average panda will weigh as much as 276 pounds (125.5 kg). In China, it is believed that pandas were once the most treasured animal in the in the emperor’s garden of exotic animals. Molecular studies have shown the Giant Panda is a true bear and part of the Ursidae family.

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The Red Panda Bear is commonly found in Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, and Nepal. The Red Pandas are found in damp coniferous forests. The Red Pandas are typically found on steeper slopes of the Himalayan Mountains compared to the Giant Pandas. They are viewed as Vulnerable by wildlife activists. Like the Giant Panda, the majority of the Red Panda's diet consists of bamboo. However, the pandas also eat berries, mushrooms, acorns and a variety of grasses. The average height of the Red Panda is roughly 24 inches (61 cm). At its heaviest, the Red Panda will weigh in at 13 pounds (5.9kg).

Between the two panda species, there are less than 1,000 pandas in the wild with a little over 100 in captivity around the world. At least half of the money used contractually to keep pandas in captivity is sent to China in order to protect and save the pandas. The panda male is referred to as a boar, while the female is known as a sow. The offspring of a panda is a cub. Red Pandas can have as many as five cubs at one time. The panda species are both good tree climbers and are most active during the day.

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Discuss this Article

anon352908
Post 7

I think that this website should just name the panda breeds like giant panda

or red panda.

animegal
Post 3

One of my best memories was seeing red pandas in the zoo, as they were so cute and playful. I really loved seeing them wander around, though I do think they are a bit put off by people watching them. The red pandas I saw looked a bit like they were scowling all the time.

It really is sad to me that endangered pandas can only be seen in the zoo. I would love going into the wild and actually see one of the endangered panda species in their natural habitat. While my pandas pictures are good, I think they would be much better if I couldn't see fence in them.

manykitties2
Post 2

@letshearit - What you and your class could do if you want the panda, as an endangered species, is to donate to something like the World Wildlife Fund, or adopt a panda from your local zoo. A lot of these programs offer you the opportunity to hold fundraisers on behalf of their programs.

One of the first things you should do is choose the species of panda you want to cover. I personally love the Giant Panda, and think that would be a fun thing to help out. You could then throw a panda themed party with funds going to your program of choice. It would certainly make for a memorable learning experience.

letshearit
Post 1

Does anyone know how you can help endangered panda species?

I work with an English class and they are really looking into doing a project where they can help something like endangered pandas or endangered turtles. While I like the idea of studying sea turtles, I think that researching about pandas will give my class a lot more insight into environmental destruction.

We were thinking of perhaps volunteering at a zoo or maybe donating to a charity that could make some real difference with panda preservation. We want to make sure that whatever we end up choosing for our project offers us time to really be active.

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