FOR A LONG TIME GIANT PANDAS WERE CLASSIFIED IN THE FAMILY URSIDAE .. THE BEAR FAMILY
NOW THEY ARE CLASSIFIED IN THE FAMILY .. Ailuropdidae
GIANT PANDAS ARE NOT CLOSELY RELATED TO RED PANDAS
THE RED PANDA IS A RELATIVE TO THE GIANT PANDA
the giant panda's body resembles a bear
THE GIANT PANDA'S SKULL AND DIGESTIVE TRACT ARE SIMILAR TO A RACCOON
biologists are sure that the GIANT PANDA is actually a BEAR ! ! !
THE PREDATORS OF THE GIANT PANDA ARE ..
AMAZING BLACK AND WHITE COLOR PATTERN
BIOLOGISTS ARE NOT SURE WHY THE BEAUTIFUL GIANT PANDA IS BLACK AND WHITE
it is believed that giant pandas are black and white so that during the winter ..
the giant pandas will be camouflaged in their snowy rocky bamboo forest habitat
THE SNOW IS LIKE THEIR WHITE PARTS
THE ROCKS ARE LIKE THEIR BLACK PARTS
it is also believed that giant pandas are black and white so that during the summer ..
the giant pandas will be camouflaged in their habitat of dense bamboo forests
THE BAMBOO STALKS CREATE PATTERNS OF LIGHT AND DARK LIKE THEIR WHITE AND BLACK PARTS
CAMOUFLAGE HELPS THE GIANT PANDAS TO BLEND IN WITH THEIR SURROUNDINGS AND
TO HIDE THE GIANT PANDAS FROM POSSIBLE PREDATORS
in the spring giant pandas are more noticeable than in the winter or summer or autumn ..
THIS HELPS THE GIANT PANDAS TO BE MORE VISIBLE TO EACH OTHER DURING THE TIME OF MATING ..
being more visible to each other helps them to not waste any energy trying to find each other ! !!
GIANT PANDAS HAVE ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL APPEARANCES OF ALL OF THE ANIMALS IN
THE WORLD ! ! !
GIANT PANDAS ARE THE MOST ADORABLE ANIMAL IN THE WORLD ! ! !
their distinct black and white coloring makes them easily recognizable all over the world ! ! !
the color of the giant panda is called piebald ..
PIEBALD IS BLACK AND WHITE
black eye patches
GIANT PANDAS BLACK AND WHITE COLORING IS A PHYSICAL ADAPTATION FOR SEVERAL REASONS ..
THE BLACK EYE PATCHES OF THE GIANT PANDA CREATE AN ILLUSION THAT THEIR ACTUAL EYES
ARE MUCH MUCH BIGGER AND MORE THREATENING THAN THEY REALLY ARE
IN NATURE ..
LARGE EYES ARE SCARY TO PREDATORS OR OTHER GIANT PANDAS
THIS FEATURE KEEPS PREDATORS AWAY
the round black ears of the GIANT PANDA may be biological adaptation for defense and protection and offense
WHEN THE GIANT PANDA LOWERS ITS HEAD TO FACE OFF ANOTHER GIANT PANDA ..
THE BLACK EARS LOOK LIKE BIG SCARY EYES AGAINST THE WHITE FUR ON BACK OF NECK ..
this looks like the giant panda has 2 sets of big scary eyes !!!! WOW !!!!
GIANT PANDAS ARE SOLITARY ANIMALS
GIANT PANDAS CAN BE VERY AGGRESSIVE TO OTHER GIANT PANDAS
giant pandas need to spend a HUGE amount of time foraging for food
usually about 14 hours a day .. but can be .. UP TO 18 HOURS EVERY DAY
giant pandas cannot afford to waste ANY time at all
CANNOT WASTE TIME AND VALUABLE ENERGY IN AGGRESSION TOWARDS OTHER GIANT PANDAS
giant pandas need to avoid other giant pandas most of the year
SAVES TIME TO USE FOR GETTING PROPER NUTRITION ! ! !
black and white coloring of the giant panda is for camouflage and protection from potential predators
THE GIANT PANDA LIVES IN A PLACE THAT IS VERY SNOWY DURING PART OF THE YEAR
with a lot of dense forest
GIANT PANDAS BLEND IN WITH SURROUNDINGS
this protects them !
giant panda standing on hind feet is .. 5 - 6 feet tall
from nose to tail .. 4 - 5 feet long
tail of giant panda is 5 inches long
HEIGHT at shoulders is 24 inches tall
GIANT PANDAS ARE DIMORPHIC
the male giant panda is about 18 % larger than the female
WEIGHT 165 - 350 pounds
THE AMAZING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FUR OF ADULT GIANT PANDAS
PROTECTS THEM WONDERFULLY FROM THE COLD
the beautiful fur insulates and keeps the giant panda warm from the cold of the mountains in CHINA
MASSIVE WIDE HEADS
bones in huge head are wide and strong
SUPER STRONG JAW MUSCLES ARE ATTACHED TO THESE SUPER STRONG BONES
need super strong jaw muscles to be able to CRUSH strong bamboo stems
deep black color
EXTREMELY EXTREMELY EXPRESSIVE EYES
GIANT PANDAS HAVE EYES THAT ARE VERY MUCH LIKE A CAT'S EYES
with a vertical pupil ! ! !
GIANT PANDAS ARE OFTEN CALLED CAT BEAR BECAUSE OF THEIR EYES
HAVE SUPER EXCELLENT HEARING
so acute that they can hear even the most quiet predator from quite a distance
large black nose
GIANT PANDAS HAVE AN EXCELLENT EXCELLENT SENSE OF SMELL !
GIANT PANDAS HAVE REALLY REALLY AMAZING TEETH !!!
GIANT PANDAS HAVE 24 DECIDUOUS BABY TEETH
GIANT PANDAS HAVE 40 - 42 PERMANENT ADULT TEETH
they have a few cutting teeth
many many molars !
ALL OF THE GIANT PANDA'S TEETH ARE SUPER SUPER SUPER SHARP ! ! !
giant pandas have strong teeth to grind their food
the giant pandas molar and premolar teeth are BROAD and FLAT
THE GIANT PANDAS TEETH ARE MUCH LIKE THE TEETH OF HERBIVORES !
over many many years .. the giant pandas teeth have adapted and changed because of their diet
BAMBOO IS VERY FIBROUS AND TOUGH .. so GIANT PANDA TEETH NEED TO TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH !
over time the sharp pointed carnassial teeth of the giant panda flattened into broad molars
for grinding the fibrous bamboo
ALL 4 OF THE GIANT PANDA'S FEET TURN INWARD TOWARDS EACH OTHER
giant pandas have awesome claws
LONG .. PARTIALLY RETRACTABLE .. REALLY REALLY SHARP
giant pandas have 5 digits . fingers on each front foot
giant pandas have 5 digits . toes on each hind foot
ON EACH FRONT FOOT ..
THE GIANT PANDA HAS A 6TH FINGER-LIKE APPENDAGE THAT FUNCTIONS LIKE A THUMB ..
thumb evolved from the sesamoid bone in the wrist
IT IS USED TO HELP THE GIANT PANDA TO HOLD BAMBOO WHEN EATING
it is very flexible and works with real thumb for super super gripping ability ! ! !
( THIS 6TH FINGER EVOLVED BECAUSE OF THE GIANT PANDA'S ALMOST EXCLUSIVE BAMBOO DIET )
GIANT PANDA'S FRONT PAW FINGERS ARE VERY DEXTROUS
can quickly peel outer shell of bamboo to get to juicy inside core !!!
THE GIANT PANDA HAS A DIGESTIVE TRACT THAT IS LIKE A CARNIVORE
THE GIANT PANDA EATS MOSTLY VEGETABLE PLANT MATTER
the giant panda's intestine is not set up to digest vegetable plant matter
TO THOROUGHLY DIGEST THE FIBROUS CELLULOSE PARTS OF PLANT MATTER ..
ANIMALS NEED CERTAIN MICROBES TO BE PRESENT IN THEIR TRACTS TO HELP BREAK DOWN
THE FOOD INGESTED
LONG COMPLEX DIGESTIVE TRACTS TO SLOWLY ABSORB THE FOOD NUTRIENTS
giant pandas do NOT have long digestive tracts
GIANT PANDAS DO NOT HAVE PROPER NECESSARY DIGESTIVE MICROBES IN THEIR INTESTINES TO DIGEST BAMBOO
giant pandas intestines have really really really thick walls
THE WALLS OF THEIR INTESTINES ARE THICK BECAUSE VEGETABLE PLANT MATTER THAT GIANT PANDAS
NEED TO DIGEST IS
tough .. coarse .. rough
THE GIANT PANDA'S BODY HAS MANY GLANDS LOCATED RIGHT NEAR THE TAIL AND IN THE TAIL
reproductive tract glands
digestive tract glands
ALL OF THESE GLANDS PRODUCE IMPORTANT NECESSARY FLUID SECRETIONS
GIANT PANDA'S TAIL IS
covered with long fluffy hair
their tails look big and fatty
THE UNDERSIDE OF THE GIANT PANDA'S TAIL HAS A HAIRLESS PATCH
the hairless patch is located at the base of the tail
GIANT PANDA'S TAIL PRESSES CLOSE TO THE BODY
giant panda's tail protects
TAIL GLAND OPENINGS
DIGESTIVE TRACT OPENING
REPRODUCTIVE TRACT OPENING
URINARY TRACT OPENING
giant pandas also use their tails as brushes to spread their gland secretions onto trees
GLAND SECRETIONS ARE SPREAD AS INFORMATION MARKS
GIANT PANDAS LIVE TO BE 30 PLUS YEARS OLD
WHERE IN THE WORLD
GIANT PANDAS LIVE
IN THE COOL MOUNTAIN BAMBOO FORESTS
IN CENTRAL SOUTHWESTERN CHINA !!!
THE RANGE OF THE GIANT PANDA WAS ONCE VERY VERY LARGE
THROUGHOUT MUCH OF CHINA AND BEYOND
THEIR RANGE IS VERY VERY SMALL
DIVIDED INTO LITTLE FRAGMENTED SECTIONS
giant pandas now live in 24 fragmented forest patches
EACH FOREST FRAGMENT MAY HAVE ONLY 50 GIANT PANDAS WITHIN
the total area of their range is about 9,000 square miles
ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS IN THE UNITED STATES
( this is way too small !!!!! .. they NEED more of their land returned to them !!!! )
giant pandas once lived
from MOUNTAIN LOWLANDS OF MYANMAR
through NORTH VIETNAM
through all of EASTERN CHINA
and SOUTHERN CHINA
now in ..
high altitude isolated mountain realms of central south western CHINA .. ONLY !
SO SO SO MUCH FOREST HAS BEEN CUT DOWN FOR LUMBER FOR HUMANS
TO CLEAR FOR FARMLAND
so that not much is left for the GIANT PANDAS !! !
GIANT PANDAS LIVE IN only 6 SMALL MOUNTAIN RANGES IN SOUTH WESTERN CHINA
- Quinling Mountains in Shaan'xi Province
- Minshan Mountains in Sichuan Province and Gansu Province
- Qionglai Mountains in Sichuan Province
- Daxiangling Mountains in Sichuan Province
- Xiaoxlangling Mountains in Sichuan Province
- Liangshan Mountains in Sichuan Province
THE AREA THAT GIANT PANDAS LIVE IN IS A VERY VERY VERY SMALL AREA FOR THEM
the range of the giant panda is..
with snow on the ground from OCTOBER - MAY
the temperature is rarely above 50 degrees Fahrenheit
THIS AREA CONTAINS MORE PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES THAN ANY TEMPERATE AREA IN THE WORLD !
the range of the giant pandas includes alpine meadows and snowy realms
GEOGRAPHIC HABITATS OF THE GIANT PANDA ARE
high altitude mountains and deep valleys
GIANT PANDAS PREFER ..
flat ends of valleys
closeness to water
abundant food with dense bamboo
dense vegetation cover
GIANT PANDAS NEED CLIMATES THAT ARE ..
humid . with much rainfall . without extreme heat
GIANT PANDAS DO NOT LIKE EXTREME HEAT
GIANT PANDAS NEED TO BE CLOSE TO WATER BECAUSE THEY NEED TO DRINK WATER EVERY DAY !!!!
the habitat of the giant panda is ..
cold . dense . damp
forest of ..
bamboo trees . fir trees . spruce trees . birch trees
with lots and lots of lichen and moss
GIANT PANDAS LIVE AT ELEVATIONS OF 5,000 - 12,000 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL
giant pandas do not live below 3,500 feet
IN THE SUMMER THE GIANT PANDA LIVES HIGH ON THE PLATEAUS OF THEIR HABITAT
IN THE WINTER THE GIANT PANDA LIVES DOWN IN THE VALLEYS OF THEIR HABITAT
GIANT PANDAS HOME TERRITORIES ARE 1/2 - 1 SQUARE MILE
the home territories of giant pandas have lots of paths and tunnels through the dense forest undergrowth
to feeding sites of bamboo
THE TERRITORY OF GIANT PANDAS CAN BE DIFFERENT DEPENDING ON THEIR AGE
AND WHETHER THEY ARE FEMALE OR MALE
the territory of giant panda females is about 1.5 - 2.75 square miles
the territory of giant panda males is about 2.75 - 3.75 square miles
THE TERRITORY OF NEWLY MATURE YOUNG ADULT GIANT PANDAS IS ABOUT 1.5 - 2.75 SQUARE MILES
GIANT PANDAS DO NOT HAVE A REGULAR DEN
they just rest and sleep whenever they need to
ALMOST 99 % OF FOOD IS BAMBOO !!!
fresh shoots in spring
mature leaves in summer
stems in winter
but they will eat all sorts of other things if they can find them
THEY EAT ABOUT 25 DIFFERENT FOODS IN ADDITION TO BAMBOO ..
GIANT PANDAS LIKE CERTAIN FOODS VERY MUCH !!!
herbs .. wild angelica .. wild celery
protein rich bodies of dead animals they find
IF BAMBOO DIES .. GIANT PANDAS WILL EAT MANY THINGS OUT OF DESPERATION ..
and other rotten things they can find
small animals if they can catch
charcoal in the woods
GIANT PANDAS DIGEST THEIR FOOD VERY FAST ! ! !
5 hours to digest shoots
10 hours to digest stems
14 hours to digest leaves
BAMBOO IS GREEN ALL YEAR
bamboo is abundant
BAMBOO IS STABLE
bamboo is easy to get
NOT TOO MANY OTHER ANIMALS WANT BAMBOO
so there is not too much competition for bamboo
other animals who eat bamboo ..
RED PANDAS . BAMBOO RATS . BOARS . BLACK BEARS . BADGERS . TAKINS . GORALS
THERE ARE AT LEAST 40 SPECIES OF BAMBOO IN THE AREA OF CHINA WHERE GIANT PANDAS LIVE
ARROW BAMBOO ( Bashania fangiana )
IS THE FAVORITE OF GIANT PANDAS
bamboo is actually a huge woody tough temperate and tropical grass
BAMBOO IS EVERGREEN
green all year
BAMBOO IS AVAILABLE ALL YEAR
bamboo is easy to get
GIANT PANDAS SPEND MORE THAN 50 % OF EVERY DAY FORAGING FOR FOOD
giant pandas need so much food that they eat at least 14 hours each day
GIANT PANDAS SPEND MORE TIME EATING THAN ANY OTHER ANIMAL IN THE WORLD !
giant pandas have a distinct routine
FEED . REST . FEED . REST
night and day .. every day ! ! !
THE GIANT PANDA USUALLY
eats for about 8 hours
rests for about 4 hours
eats for about 8 hours
rests for about 4 hours
giant pandas travel about 3/4 mile every day while foraging
BAMBOO IS NOT VERY FULL OF NUTRIENTS
giant pandas need to eat lots and lots and lots and lots of food to get proper nutrition and enough calories
just to sustain life ! ! !
GIANT PANDAS ARE NOT EVER ABLE TO BUILD UP A RESERVE OF STORED BODY FAT
BECAUSE AT THE MOST THEY CAN ONLY TAKE IN A LITTLE BIT MORE FOOD EACH DAY
THAN IS ABSOLUTELY NEEDED TO SURVIVE
only about 17 % of the giant panda's food is digested
THE REST OF THE FOOD IS PASSED THROUGH THE DIGESTIVE TRACT BARELY CRUSHED
most of the bamboo eaten by giant pandas comes out almost the same as it went in ! ! !
BAMBOO PASSES OUT OF THE DIGESTIVE TRACT OF THE GIANT PANDA
the super fast digestive rate is needed to make room for MORE BAMBOO ! ! !
the nutrients needed by the giant panda's body ! ! !
GIANT PANDAS HAVE TO EAT 25 - 45 POUNDS OF BAMBOO EVERY DAY !!!
eat about ..
35 pounds of stems
20-30 pounds of leaves
45 pounds of new shoots
45 pounds of new stem tip growth
THE GIANT PANDA'S ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PART OF THE BAMBOO ARE THE LEAVES !!!
the leaves are actually the most nutritious part of bamboo !
THE GIANT PANDA HAS TO EAT LESS OF THE LEAVES THAN ANY OTHER PART OF THE BAMBOO
TO GET ALL THE REQUIRED NUTRITION !!!
when giant pandas eat stems .. they have to eat about 400 - 600 stems of bamboo every day !!!
A 220 POUND ADULT GIANT PANDA NEEDS TO EAT AT LEAST 30 POUNDS OF BAMBOO EVERY DAY ! ! !
there are about 40 species of bamboo that grow in the range of the giant panda
giant pandas love ONLY 1 species the best !!
the species they love 2nd best is the UMBRELLA BAMBOO
GIANT PANDAS CHOOSE THE BEST and MOST NUTRITIONAL VARIETY OF BAMBOO AND
THE BEST PART OF THE PLANT ITSELF
at the best time of the year for each species
GIANT PANDAS EAT IN VERY SPECIFIC WAYS
in spring .. giant pandas eat mostly new shoots or sprouts
( these tender new shoots have the MOST NUTRITION and the least amount of fiber at that time of the year )
in summer and early autumn .. giant pandas eat mostly leaves
during the rest of the year .. giant pandas eat mostly leaves and stems
BAMBOO STEMS ARE CALLED CULMS
THE GIANT PANDA EATS IN SOME VERY AMAZING WAYS ..
the giant panda has different ways to eat the different parts of the bamboo plant
BAMBOO STALK STEM
in standing position .. up on hind legs
GRABS STALK STEM WITH FRONT PAWS .. pulls over towards mouth
SITS DOWN .. bites off 20 inches of tip of stalk
eats fresh tip and leaves
THEN .. BENDS STALK UNTIL IT SNAPS OFF
then .. folds in half until it snaps again
SPECIALLY ADAPTED TEETH TO STRIP OFF OUT LAYERS FROM STEM
giant panda jerks head sideways as the bamboo skin is pulled off
the giant panda pushes the peeled tender inner part of the stem called pith into mouth
( LIKE HUMANS EAT A RAW CARROT )
QUICKLY MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH WITH A GREAT FORCE !!!
( do not chew their food well )
sometimes when giant pandas eat bamboo stems they
strip the branches and leaves from the stems or culms
CREATE A BUNDLE .. then start munching !!!
BAMBOO IS usually very plentiful
bamboo has a very unusual life cycle
THIS GROWTH PATTERN ADDS TO THE DIFFICULT LIFE CHALLENGES THAT FACE ALL GIANT PANDAS !
each species of bamboo tree plant will flower once every 40 years to 60 years ..
ALL OF THE BAMBOO TREE PLANTS OF ONE SPECIES WITHIN A SPECIFIC AREA
FLOWER AT THE SAME TIME
the area can be as big at 2,000 square miles
then .. the seeds form ..
WITHIN MONTHS OF FLOWERING AND FORMING SEEDS THOSE BAMBOO TREE PLANTS DIE
NEW BAMBOO TREE PLANTS WILL GROW FROM SEED BUT .. VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY SLOWLY !
these new bamboo trees take between 10 - 20 years to become mature enough for giant pandas to eat ! ! !
FLOWERING AND DYING ARE NORMAL PARTS OF THE LIFE CYCLE OF BAMBOO
ARROW BAMBOO FLOWER AND DIE EVERY 60 YEARS ! ! !
the way that giant pandas eat bamboo causes a problem with the bamboo's new growth
BAMBOO GROWS IN A CLUSTER OR A STAND OF STALKS OR SMALL TREES
giant pandas eat the bamboo stalks from the outside in .. towards the middle
THE GIANT PANDAS EAT THE OUTER 2/3 OF A STAND OF BAMBOO AND LEAVE THE MIDDLE
the stand of bamboo then has trouble spreading out and expanding ..
THE NEW SMALL LITTLE STEMS CAN'T GET BIG ENOUGH TO SEND OUT SPREADING ROOTS ..
the giant pandas keep eating the new stems .. they just keep mowing them down !!!
SO ... this means that a LOT OF LAND for a LOT OF GROWING BAMBOO IS SO NECESSARY ! ! ! ! !
|" God said, Let the land produce living creatures "|