Giant Panda

Created on Day 6

Design

Unlike other bears, the panda has enlarged wrist bones, which actually act like extra fingers for it to grasp and break tough bamboo shoots. Its jaws, teeth, esophagus, and stomach are also designed to help it eat bamboo. The esophagus is lined with a tough lining that protects the bear from splinters, and the stomach is lined with muscle to protect it.

Features

  • The panda is known for its distinct black and white coloring. The eyes, ears, arms, legs, and shoulders are all black while the rest of the body is white.
  • The giant panda has an extra opposable digit on the hand, known as “the panda’s thumb.” It is actually a pad of skin covering the wrist bone.

Fun Facts

  • A baby panda weighs less than a pound at birth.
  • The panda is a pretty good acrobat, enjoying somersaults.
  • A pandas eats over 80 lbs (36 kg) of food a day to get all the nutrients it needs.
  • Infant pandas are born with their eyes closed and they only open them when at least three weeks old. They cannot move around on their own until 3–4 months of age.

Created Kind Members

Brown bear, black bear, polar bear

CLASS: Mammalia (mammal)

ORDER: Carnivora (meat-eating)

FAMILY: Ursidae (bear kind)

GENUS/SPECIES: Ailuropoda melanoleuca

Size: 4–6 ft (1.2–1.8 m)

Weight: 175–325 lbs (79–150 kg); Males are larger than females

Original Diet: Plants

Present Diet: Bamboo

Habitat: Mountain forests and mixed coniferous and broadleaf forests where bamboo is present in China