Pandastic Panda Facts – A Poem
The Giant Panda (also known as panda bear or simply panda) is a unique bear with a distinctive appearance native to remote, mountainous regions of central China. Unlike their bear relatives, pandas have a diet that primarily consists of bamboo (99%) even though they are carnivores.
Giant pandas are adorable and fascinating, however they present a conservation challenge like no other because of their unusual behaviour.
Pandastic Pandas – A Poem
Kung Fu Panda is an inspiring animated DreamWorks fictional film. Due to their diet and low energy level however, giant pandas have not been observed practising martial arts or going to cinemas.
The only Kung Fu (also means a highly practised skill in Chinese) pandas possess is the ability to peel and eat a bamboo shoot in about 40 seconds.
Fascinating Giant Panda Facts
The Giant Panda’s round face is the result of powerful jaws. Pandas have one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore with large molars able munch, crush and grind highly fibrous bamboo stems.
Grown pandas have to eat as much as 18 kgs (40 pounds) of bamboos per day to meet their nutritional needs and poop up to 40 times a day.
Even though pandas have sharp teeth and a digestive tract designed for consuming meat, their nutrient poor diet means that they spend all day foraging, eating and sleeping with no energy to chase anything. Their prey would virtually have to land in their lap for them to become interested. In the wild, every giant panda needs between 1600 to 2560 acres (2.5 ~ 4 square miles) of land to survive.
Pandas are said to have a predilection for copper and iron. They really seem to enjoy licking every scrap of food from their metal bowls, even turning the bowl in their two dexterous paws. An ancient reputation as a licker and eater of copper and iron came from a liking for dishes or cooking pots in dwellings of Chinese peasants.
~David Taylor “The Giant Panda”
As voracious lickers, giant pandas have also been observed to enjoy licking fruit lollipops in the heat of summer in Chengdu. No doubt, they easily get quite hot under their fur coat.
Panda’s Priorities and Reproduction
Finding a mate is way down in a panda’s priority list as compared to much more important activities such as eating, pooping and sleeping. They are generally solitary in the wild. There is only a small window (between 1 to 3 days in spring) when females conceive naturally.
History and Conservation Status
Giant pandas have lived on earth for millions of years. In early 2000, anthropologists reported discoveries of remains from the earliest-known ancestor of the giant panda some two million years ago [University of Lowa, Science Daily].
Panda’s habitat is at the geographic and economic heart of China in the remote regions around Chengdu, Sichuan and Xian, home to a large population. Today, there are approximately 1,600 giant pandas living in the wild.
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