Giant Panda

Alexander Cleveland Period 3 5/16/16

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Habitat

Giant pandas usually live where their is a surplus amount of bamboo. Because of this, giant pandas are found in much of Eastern and Southern China. They used to live at lower elevations, but high human populations have forced them higher. Because giant pandas don't hibernate, they descend to lower elevations to avoid the winter. (Wild Screen Arkive) Habitat loss is the biggest threat to the giant panda today.

Movement

The giant panda has 4 legs, but can stand either on 2 or 4. They can also climb trees, and are generally a slow moving animal found in mountainous regions of China. Because the giant panda weighs 70kg - 125kg, they have to rely on their strong shoulders to support their body weight. (Wildscreen Arkive)
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Body Covering

Giant pandas have a very distinctive black and white coat of fur. They have a mostly white body and belly, but their ears, limbs, and shoulders are black. They also have dark, black patches around their eyes. These chunks of colors serve as camouflage when giant pandas are in the treetops or eating bamboo. (Wildscreen Arkive) The giant panda is a vertebrae.

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Diet

99% of a giant panda's diet is bamboo. This is because it is so common where they live. Another reason why they eat bamboo is because it can be easily spotted, even during the winter. The other 1% is other plants, if necessary they will scavenge the kill of carnivores. (Panda Rescue) Since bamboo supplies pandas with water, they don't drink a lot. Giant pandas usually sit down while they're eating so they can free up both fore paws for holding, breaking, and eating the bamboo. To survive giant pandas must eat 22 to 40 pounds of bamboo a day. (Panda Rescue)

Reproduction

Adult giant pandas have a mating season which runs from March to May. Females usually give birth every two years to a single cub between July and September. The gestation period ranges anywhere from 95 to 181 days. The giant panda cub is very small and helpless after birth and remains with its mother for at least 18 months. (WIldscreen Arkive)
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Adaptations

Adult giant pandas are usually solitary animals, except during mating season. They must alternate resting and feeding since they have a carnivorous digestive system, which only allows them to digest small portions of the bamboo they consume. Giant pandas have a unique "thumb" called the pseudo thumb which is a modified wrist bone that helps them grasp bamboo stalks. (WIldscreen Arkive)
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Other Info

  • The giant panda's scientific name is Ailuropoda melanoleuca
  • They are also a member of the bear family
  • Each pandas markings are different from one another
  • They can live in the wild from 14 to 30 years
  • The giant panda is an endangered species
  • There is a worldwide conservation plan to save the giant panda
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Work Cited

Bortolotti, Dan. Changing the Future for Endangered Wildlife Panda Rescue. Ltd ed. Buffalo: Firefly, 2003. Print.



Lumpkin, Susan. "Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)." Wildscreen Arkive. Jean-Paul Ferrero, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 11 May 2016. <http://www.arkive.org/giant-panda/ailuropoda-melanoleuca/>.