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The Giant Panda

by Ioana Udrescu

Cover

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The Amazing Story of Pandas
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created by Ioana Udrescu images: Pixabay
Physical Description
The giant panda is one of the most beloved animals in the world. Giant pandas are identified by their distinctive black and white coloring. Their ears, muzzle, eyes, shoulders and legs are black while the rest of their body is white. The giant pandas can be between 2 to 3 feet tall and between 4 to 6 feet long. They can weigh between 220 and 250 pounds, with males being larger than females.
Did you know?
Pandas are shy animals. They don't venture
into areas where people live.
This restricts pandas to very limited regions.
Habitat and Nutrition
Pandas live mainly in bamboo forests high in the mountains of western China, where they eat almost entirely bamboo.

They must eat from 26 to 84 pounds of it every day using their large wrist bones that function as thumbs.
Did you know?
Pandas eat fast and they eat a lot! They spend about 12 hours a day eating. The reason: they digest only a very small portion of what they eat and bamboo is not very nutritious.
Reproduction and Life Span
The giant panda is considered vulnerable of extinction. When pandas are between 4-8 years of age, they reach maturity and can reproduce. However, female pandas are only able to reproduce for 2-3 days each spring!

In this small window of time, male and female pandas find each other through scents and calls similar to that of goats or sheep. They do not roar like other bears.
Did you know?
Pandas usually live between 20 to 30 years.
Reasons why Pandas are Endangered
One of the main reasons that panda populations have declined is habitat destruction. As the human population in China continues to grow, pandas’ habitat gets taken over by development, pushing them into smaller and less livable areas. Habitat destruction also leads to food shortages.
Pandas feed on several varieties of bamboo that bloom at different times of the year. If one type of bamboo is destroyed by development, it can leave the pandas with nothing to eat during the time it normally blooms, increasing the risk of starvation.
Did you know?
Only about 1500 of these black-and-white relatives of bears survive in the wild.
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