Class: Mammalia (Mammals)
Scientific Name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca; Black and white cat-footed animal
Chinese Name: Daxiongmao; large bear cat.
Height: 2 ½ to 3 feet
Length: 5 ¼ to 6 feet
Weight: 220 to 250 pounds
Skeletal Structure: Unusually thick and heavy bones, enlarged shoulder and neck, small back end, can not stand up on back legs like most bears
Tail: 6 inches
Sagittal Crest; Large, wide, deep
Teeth: Molars, premolars are wide and flat. Extensive ridges and cusps developed to grind tough bamboo
Digestive System: Tough throat and esophageal lining; Stomach walls extremely muscular, covered with a thick layer of mucus to protect against splinters; Enlarged colon surface, Short intestines unable digest cellulose therefore only 20% of nutrients absorbed, excrete up to 88 pounds per day
Claw; five short claws, used for climbing
Sole; Padded with hair , for traction, reduce heat loss in snow and ice.
Pseudothumb; A sixth long wrist bone, opens and closes similar to an opposable thumb, covered with a toe pad .
Gait: Heel to toe, rolling
Eyes: Pupils; Vertical slits, very good eyesight
Thick, coarse, oily, woolly; white, black, chestnut-red tinge colors for camouflage and to intimidate other animals.
Diet: Bamboo stems and shoots, fruits like kiwi, small mammals, fish, insects; must eat 14 hours a day
Communication: Scent; Acidic-smelling substance, secreted by glands surrounding the ano-genital area unique to each panda, rubbed on tree trunks and stones; Urine; Feces; Scratches on trees. Vocalizations; 11 distinct calls, Chirp, Growl, Bleat, Roar, Honk;
Life span: Unknown in the wild, 14 to 20 years in captivity
Behavior: Thought to be solitary but reachers are finding pandas living in groups of 2 - 28; Territorial; Moves to lower altitudes instead of hibernating; Do not build permanent dens; Terrestrial; Good climbers; Capable of swimming; Active at twilight and night; An aggressive panda, bobs its head and displays both its eyes and ears, a submissive panda will turn its head to the side or cover its eyes with its paws; Playful
The Animal Planet has a wonderful short video on Pandas which includes some of the sounds made by a Panda. It takes a while to load but well worth the wait. Animal Planet Meet the Pandas
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