15 Facts About Pandas

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Pandas are more than just cute faces with black and white fur. These gentle giants are full of surprises, from their unique diet to their special adaptations. Here are 15 fascinating facts about pandas that will deepen your appreciation for these remarkable creatures.

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Pandas are not as lazy as you think

Pandas might seem like they just sit and eat bamboo all day, but they are also great at climbing. Baby pandas start climbing trees when they are only six months old. They are also good swimmers, which might sound unlikely for bears, but it is true. Unlike other bears, pandas do not hibernate in the winter.

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There are two types of Pandas

There are two types of giant pandas, the Sichuan giant panda and the Qinling giant panda. The Qinling pandas make up only 18.5% of all giant pandas. The Sichuan pandas have heads like bears, while Qinling pandas have heads that are more like cats, with smaller skulls and bigger teeth.

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Pandas mark their territory with scent

Pandas have a unique way of claiming their space. They use scent marking to communicate with other pandas. By rubbing secretions from their anal glands onto objects like tree trunks, rocks, or the ground, they leave a message that says, “this area is mine.” They usually do this to avoid conflicts with other pandas.

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Pandas love bamboos

Bamboo is the main food for pandas, making up 99% of their diet. They munch on bamboo shoots and leaves, but interestingly, their digestive system is more like that of meat-eaters. Even though they mostly eat plants, they sometimes snack on other plants and even small animals. When in captivity, their diet mainly consists of bamboo, which might not give them all the nutrients they need.

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Pandas poop more than 100 times a day

Giant pandas eat a lot, about 15% of their body weight, which is around 12.5kg of bamboo daily. Because their diet is high in fiber, they poop frequently throughout the day. They have a massive diet and need to eat at least two types of bamboo every day, or they risk starving.

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Pandas have unique coats

Pandas are known for their black and white fur which helps them stay hidden. It is the distinctive black and white color that helps them blend with their natural habitat and camouflage themselves both in snowy mountains and forests. The cold weather also helps in keeping their coats fluffy and healthy.

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Pandas do not sleep during winters

Giant pandas do not hibernate like some other bears. Their diet of bamboo does not give them enough fat to sleep through the winter. But that is okay because they are well-suited to cold weather. Even when it gets as chilly as -4°C (25°F), you can find them wandering through snow-covered bamboo forests, looking for their next meal.

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Giant Pandas are not endangered anymore

These gentle giants are no longer considered endangered. Thanks to some serious conservation work in China, their numbers have grown, especially in the mountainous regions of central China, like Sichuan province. You will also find pandas in zoos around the world, helping spread the word about the importance of protecting endangered species and their homes.

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Giant Pandas are China’s national treasures

Giant pandas hold a special place in China’s culture and heritage. They are native to China and are found in the mountainous regions of central China, with a large population in Sichuan province. Because they are found in abundant numbers, pandas have been reclassified from “endangered” to “vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List.

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Pandas eat for half the day

Giant pandas dedicate a significant portion of their day to eating. Since bamboo, their main food source, is low in protein and high in fiber, they need to consume a lot to meet their nutritional needs. With a slow metabolism, they spend about 14 hours a day eating and can only digest about 17% of what they consume.

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Strongest bite among carnivores

Despite their bamboo-heavy diet, do not be fooled by their gentle appearance. Pandas have one of the strongest bites among carnivores. Their powerful jaw muscles and unique molar structure are perfect for crushing tough bamboo. And like gorillas, pandas have a “thumb” that helps them grasp bamboo stalks, making them efficient eaters.

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Newborn pandas are pink

When pandas are born, they do not have their famous black and white fur. Instead, they are pink with just a little bit of hair. They start getting their black and white color after about three weeks. Baby pandas are born blind and with weak limbs, so they need to stay in their nests for two months.

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Male pandas are bigger than females

Male pandas are typically larger and heavier than females, weighing up to 159 kg, while females usually weigh around 77 kg. These animals are solitary by nature, with females having their own territories and preferring solitude, except during mating season. After mating, females raise their cubs alone. Males are approximately 20% larger than females.

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Pandas like being solo

Giant pandas, like their relatives, are solitary animals. They usually do not live with their families. Female pandas have their own territories and prefer to be alone. Males are the same, except during mating season. After mating, female pandas take care of their cubs by themselves. It also reflects in their territorial behaviors.

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Pandas have a unique thumb

Pandas have a distinct feature that sets them apart from other bear species. They have an extra bone in their wrists that acts like a thumb. It is this “thumb” that is actually an enlarged wrist bone, called a radial sesamoid. This bone is known to help pandas handle bamboo more effectively.

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Pandas love water

Giant pandas love being near water. They are excellent swimmers and enjoy living where there is water around. That is why they are often found in the thick bamboo forests of China, where water is plentiful, making it a perfect place for them to live. They stay in water for hours to cool them off.


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