Posted on Mar 15, 2021 149
There probably isn’t a person in the world who hasn’t seen a panda in a picture or photograph. This interesting and very cute animal always attracts attention, and many videos in social networks with him in the title role regularly gather a lot of views and likes! What is the secret of their popularity? And how do pandas live? Now we will tell you.
The large black and white panda really captures the eyes. In fact, this mammal is a bear, as it is a member of the bear family. However, from some polar or Siberian bear, the panda has a special structure of teeth, tail and jaw shape.
Pandas are really gigantic animals. They can reach a height of 120-180 cm, and their weight can range from 100 to 160 kg. They have a powerful body, well-developed front limbs with strong claws. Pandas have two small but charming furry ears on their heads, and a long tail at the back, uncharacteristic of the rest of the bear family.
Of course, the main distinguishing feature of the bamboo bear is its magnificent coloring! The entire body of the panda is covered with thick white fur, except for some places: both ears, hind and front paws are black. Another black stripe wraps around the animal’s back: starting from the front limbs, it goes through the withers.
It is impossible not to mention the “classic” panda mask: there are black spots around the bear’s eyes. Because of this distinctive feature, even human dark bags under the eyes became known as “panda eyes”!
The amazing bear has chosen one country to live in - China. It’s the only country where the panda feels well-fed and satisfied. And all because of the bamboo forests - the main diet of pandas. It mainly lives in Tibet, Sichuan and Gansu provinces, where there is a temperate climate and heavy rainfall.
Of course, pandas can also be found in zoos. But they’re very rare. It’s difficult to create living conditions similar to their natural habitat for the wayward bamboo bear. Therefore, pandas rarely breed in captivity, and it is always a cosmic event for zoos around the world.
Behaviors, lifestyle of pandas
The bamboo bear is an incredibly fastidious animal. It prefers to live in impenetrable bamboo thickets, humid, dense, where dusk begins early and people are rarely seen.
Interestingly, the panda is a carnivore, but almost all of its diet (99%) is plant food - bamboo. One panda can eat up to 30 kilograms of bamboo (leaves and shoots) in a day!
The organism of the bamboo bear seems to be specially adjusted for eating bamboo: the esophagus with several layers of thick mucous tissue allows pandas to avoid getting scratches from chips. And the black-and-white bear’s stomach is so powerful that it can digest all the plant’s tough fibrous stems!
And pandas are quite omnivorous. When necessary, they eat eggs, small rodents, insects, and birds - this is how they replenish protein in the body.
The panda leads a secretive lifestyle, lazy and quiet. Most of the time these bears sleep or eat. Pandas remain active throughout the day, so they don’t hide, build shelters, or dig holes. Bamboo bears are excellent swimmers and excellent tree climbers, but they still prefer to spend time on the ground or sitting on bamboo.
Pandas have no enemies in the wild, aside from humans and weather. Because black-and-white predators rarely migrate and often live in the same bamboo forest, when the forest dies (from fire or pests, for example), the panda also starves to death. This phenomenon is called “hyper-dependence. Such situations literally wipe out entire panda ranges in a year. Therefore, the bamboo bear was on the verge of extinction until 2016.
Pandas can be described as peaceful and friendly animals, despite their belonging to the bear family. Of course, any wild animal is dangerous to humans, and the panda with its long claws and powerful muscles is no exception, but mostly it is extremely cautious.
A characteristic feature of pandas is slowness and laziness. It is the animal’s diet. Since the bamboo bear’s menu is almost all bamboo, the animal has to move less to spend energy slowly and evenly throughout the day.
Pandas do not hibernate in winter and prefer to live alone. The calm disposition of the charming bear is evidenced because they make practically no sound. However, when frightened or very anxious, the panda can bellow as any other bear - loudly and tearfully!
The worldwide love for black and white predators is clear everywhere. For example, the World Wildlife Fund has made the panda its symbol. And all thanks to a cute panda named Chi-Chi, which in 1961 was seen in one zoo by the foundation’s founder. Who else could be featured on the emblem but a good-natured, rare animal that needs special protection?
Besides, the bamboo bear is considered a tacit symbol of China, its homeland. In the province of Sichuan, an entire museum is dedicated to this beautiful animal. There is also a research center and a large panda breeding nursery - “our treasure”, as the Chinese say.
Do you like pandas?