Easily recognizable through its large, distinctive black patches on the eyes, ears, and rotund body, the panda is considered a vulnerable species, with an estimated 1800-2060 pandas living in the wild, according to a 2018 census.
Despite being taxonomically a carnivore, their diet is overwhelmingly herbivorous. The panda eats tubers, grasses, shoots, leaves, and roots, living almost entirely on bamboo. Pandas are also omnivores, as they are known to eat eggs, fish, small animals, carrion, and some insects along with their bamboo diet. These are necessary sources of protein.
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 raccoon. However, genetic testing has revealed that giant pandas are true bears and part of the Ursidae family. However, it differentiated earlier in history than most ursines and could be considered a living fossil. Its closest extant relative is the spectacled bear.
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 5.9 inches (15 cm) long.
Pandas in mainstream culture/religion
- Po Ping (Dreamworks Animation's Kung Fu Panda)
- Panda (Cartoon Network's We Bare Bears)
- Pandaren (Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft)
- Penny Ling (Littlest Pet Shop)
- Andy Panda
- Vanessa (Pandamonia)
Panda and furry
Panda characters in furry
- Shanda the Panda
- Panda Khan (The Chronicles of Panda Khan)
- Pandamonium (Extinctioners)
- Leila (Ringtail Cafe)
- David Innitou (Concession)
- Arloest (Jack)
- Yin the Panda (The Suburban Jungle)
- Rezzurekt (Beast Wars)
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