Red Panda

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A Red Panda in the wild
A plush toy Red Panda

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens), also known as the lesser panda and red cat-bear, nicknamed the firefox, is a small arboreal mammal of the Ailuridae native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.

Zoology[edit]

The red panda is slightly larger than a domestic cat. They have long, soft reddish-brown fur on their upper parts, blackish fur on the lower parts, and a light face with tear markings and robust cranial-dental features. The light face has white badges similar to those of a raccoon, but each individual can have distinctive markings.

Their roundish head has medium-sized upright ears, a black nose, and very, almost pitch black, dark eyes. Their long bushy tail with six alternating yellowish red transverse ochre rings provides balance and excellent camouflage against its habitat of moss- and lichen-covered trees. The legs are black and short with thick fur on the soles of the paws. This fur serves as thermal insulation on snow-covered or ice surfaces and conceals scent glands which are also present on the anus.

It feeds mainly on bamboo, but is omnivorous and also eats eggs, birds, insects, and small mammals. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.

Red Panda have been classified as vulnerable species by the IUCN as its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals, and has become locally extinct from the Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Gansu, Shaanxi and Qinghai.

Red Pandas in mainstream media[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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