Top 10 Lesser-Known Facts About Pandas

May 19, 2023

By Radha Maithili Sekharamantry

Did You Know?

Pandas are curious animals. They enjoy learning new things and exploring their surroundings. In fact, the popular film "Kung Fu Panda" is based on the idea that a panda can learn kung fu. Read on and discover the top 10 lesser-known facts about these cuddly creatures.

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Rarest Bears in the World

The giant panda, a member of the bear family Ursidae, is one of the rarest bears in the world. While their numbers have increased in recent years, they are still classified as vulnerable. There are thought to be 1,864 pandas in the wild. Threats to pandas include habitat destruction, low reproductive rates, poaching, and bamboo shortage.

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Are Herbivorous

They are the only bears that are primarily herbivorous, and they spend most of their time eating bamboo. They eat the leaves, stems and shoots of bamboo. Because bamboo is not particularly nutrient-dense, they must consume about 12–38 kilograms of it daily to meet their nutritional needs.

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Size of a Butter Stick

Newborn pandas are about the size of a stick of butter and weigh about 90–130 grams. However, as adults, female pandas can weigh up to 90 kilograms while male pandas can weigh up to 135 kilograms. Adults can grow to be over 1.2 metres tall.

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Native to China

Pandas are native to China and are considered their national treasure. They can be found in the mountains of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. These mountains are covered in bamboo forests, which provide pandas with food and habitat.

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Solitary Animals

Pandas are solitary animals, and they only come together to mate. They forage and sleep alone most of the time, marking their territory with their scent and urine and defending it from other pandas. Cubs, on the other hand, spend 18 months with their mothers before becoming solitary.

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Excellent Climbers

Despite their bulk, pandas are excellent climbers. They climb trees using their sharp claws and powerful forelimbs. This helps them to reach the high-growing bamboo shoots for food while also evading predators.

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Pandas are slow-moving animals.  A wild panda moves at an average speed of 26.9 metres/hour, or 88.3 feet/hour. The animals' lazy daily routine allows them to conserve energy and make it through on the meagre diet of bamboo.

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Intelligent Animals

Pandas are intelligent animals with complex behaviour and a good memory. Their cognitive ability is comparable to that of chimpanzees and gorillas. However, their intelligence is often underestimated due to their slow-moving demeanour.

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Black and White Coat for a Reason

Pandas have a distinctive black and white coat. Since they live in a forest, their black fur helps in their ability to blend in with the shadows and avoid predators, such as leopards and dholes.

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