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Giant pandas are black-and-white Chinese bears that are on the verge of extinction. These large, cuddly-looking mammals have a big head, a heavy body, rounded ears, and a short tail.

Their Eyes:
Most bears' eyes have round pupils. The exception is the giant panda, whose pupils are vertical slits, like cats' eyes. These unusual eyes inspired the Chinese to call the panda the "giant cat bear."

their Color:
Giant pandas are white with black patches around the eyes, ears, shoulders, chest, legs, and feet. This black-and-white coloring may camouflage.

Their size:
The largest pandas grow to be about 250 pounds (115 kg), about the weight of a large adult human. They are about 5.25 to 6 feet (1.6 to 1.8 m) long. The average adult male panda grows to be about 3 feet (1 m) tall at the shoulder and weighs about 220 pounds (100 kg). The average adult female panda grows to be about 2.5 feet (80 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs about 180 pounds (80 kg). The panda's tail is about 6 inches (16 cm) long.

their Eating Style:
Pandas usually eat while sitting in an upright position. They can use their front paws to hold their food.

Their Social Behaveior:
Giant pandas are mostly shy, solitary animals. They live most of their lives alone. A small group of pandas may share a large feeding territory, usually only meeting to breed. Scientists don't know very much about the lives of these animals.

Giant pandas have a rolling gait. Like people and other bears, giant pandas are flat-footed.Pandas are good tree climbers, using their short claws to grab onto the bark. Sometimes they take afternoon naps high in the trees.

their Life Span:
The giant panda's life span in the wild has not been accurately documented, but Chinese scientists report that some pandas in zoos have lived to be 35 years old. Hsing-Hsing, who lives in the National Zoo, turned 29 in 1999. Most animals live longer in captivity than in the wild.

Group Information

  • 3
  • Pandas
  • Mar 16, 2011
  • English

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