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Easily recognizable through its large, distinctive black patches on the eyes, ears and on its rotund body, the giant panda is one of the most endangered animals in the world: an estimated 1,600 pandas live in the wild and some 160 of them live in captivity, according to a 2004 census. 
Despite being taxonomically a carnivore, their diet is overwhelmingly herbivorous. The giant panda eats shoots and leaves, living almost entirely on bamboo. Pandas are also known to eat eggs and some insects along with their bamboo diet. These are necessary sources of protein. Pandas find bamboo hard to digest.
For many decades the precise taxonomic classification of the panda was under debate as both the giant panda and the distantly related red panda share characteristics of both bears and raccoons. However, genetic testing has revealed that giant pandas are true bears and part of the Ursidae family. Its closest bear relative is the spectacled bear of South America.
The giant panda has an unusual paw, with a "thumb" and five fingers; the "thumb" is actually a modified wrist bone. The giant panda has a short tail, approximately 15 cm long.
Giant panda and furry
- Giant pandas are a common selection when someone is looking for a character or fursona from the Far East.
- One of the best known panda characters in furry circles is Shanda, from Shanda The Panda, whose family is from China. An occasional theme in the comic plays off how rare pandas are.
- Another well-known panda is Yin, from The Gneech's webcomic, The Suburban Jungle; the strip has also noted the rarity of pandas, although in a more comic vein.
- Not all panda characters are cute and cuddly; Gabriel from Daphne Lage's Tall Tails is an impressive fighter.
|Some of this page is derived from Wikipedia. The original article was at Giant panda. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WikiFur, the text of Wikipedia is available under CC-BY-SA and the GFDL.|