The Giant Panda Bear, also called “Pinyin” in traditional Chinese, which means “big bear cat”, is a carnivore although its usual diet is bamboo. Pandas usually consume between 20 to 30 pounds of bamboo in a day. Found mostly in the mountain ranges of China, Sichuan province and other neighboring provinces, it is an endangered species. “Black and white cat-foot” is the literal meaning of the scientific name of the Giant Panda or the Panda.
One of the most misapprehended animals on planet Earth is the Giant Panda. Due to its unique traits, controversy regarding the classification of the Giant Panda has often arisen. The Giant Panda was also linked to the Red Panda, which looks like a raccoon but is similar in looks and eating habits of that of the Panda. For quite a long time, Giant Panda was believed to be a type of Raccoon. People have also linked Pandas with the dog family as well.
Later, observations and genetics testing revealed that Panda is in fact, a Bear. Pandas have various different adaptations that make it different and unusual. It was not until after after 1195, that the Panda was finally considered a Bear. Researchers have also stated that the Panda has become gravely endangered and is on the verge of extinction.
The scientists have said that The Giant Panda a member of bear family and have named it Ursidae. The Panda is closely related to the Spectacled Bear, from among the bear family, which is usually found in South America. Scientists believe that Pandas are more like Bears and have no connections or links with the Raccoons.
Following are few facts about Pandas, which help distinguish it as a bear:
- Pandas have six digits of the paws in front, along with a thumb, which helps it in holding on to the branches of trees and stalks of bamboos both of which require lot of strength.
- Pandas are solitary animals, like many types of bears. By rubbing a musky scent and scratching the bark of the trees they are able to mark their territory. Various vocalizations are used for the purpose of communication among the Pandas.
- Polar bear is the largest bear and also the world’s largest carnivore on land. Bears also are carnivores but the Panda even after falling in the category of carnivores survives on bamboos majorly.
- Pandas typically have a distinct white and black color, which helps to easily differentiate from their surrounding, and a very large head. The size of territories of male bears is always higher than the size of territories for the female bears.
Due to the inhumane activities such as deforestation and many other developmental and industrial activities the Pandas are losing their homes and are being driven out of the lowland area where they once lived. Already endangered species must be preserved and protected and must be provided their natural habitat to live together and once again increase their population.