33 Facts About Pandas

panda facts

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1. Chinese call the panda Xiong Mao, meaning Bear Cat. How cool is that? What’s your name? Oh, my name is Bear Cat.

2. Pandas don’t just eat bamboo, when they get bored with bamboo they eat other plants and sometimes even small animals!

3. Pandas have bad sight and rely mostly on their smell.

4. There is something called panda pornography. Biologists show pandas in captivity videos of pandas mating to stimulate them into mating as well.

5. Pandas are the dumbest animals in the world. They eat bamboo, which has near to zero nutrition. Also they don’t mate very well. The only reason they are still alive is because of humans. We of course are the reason they are endangered in the first place.

6. If pandas are running away from something they kind of strut. For a long time people thought they were just too stupid to run faster.

7.  Although 99% of their diet is bamboo, a pandas digestive system is designed for meat. Pandas absorb only 20%-30 % of bamboo nutrients. Other plant eaters such as deer absorb around 80% of the nutrients in their diet. This means the panda has to eat most of the time it is awake to get enough nutrients to survive.

8. The word ‘panda’ comes from the Nepalese word ‘poonya’ which means something like bamboo-eater.

9.  Red pandas are not bears but raccoons.

10. Pandas can poop up to 40 times a day. The rest of the time is spent eating or sleeping. Sometimes they eat and poop at the same time.

11. Pandas don’t have the energy to walk around constantly because of the low nutrition of bamboo. This is why pandas appear lazy.

12.  Baby pandas are the size of a Chihuahua puppy.

13. Every zoo in the world that keeps pandas pays ‘rent’ to the Chinese government. Chinese law states that all pandas (even those born in other countries) are Chinese property.

14. Female panda’s ovulate once a year and are fertile only two days a year.

15. All pandas living in captivity today are descendants of only three panda males.

16. There is a panda sperm bank with fertile panda semen to avoid inbreeding.

17. Attempts have been made to reproduce giant pandas by interspecific pregnancy by implanting cloned panda embryos into the uterus of an animal of another species. This has resulted in panda fetuses, but no live births.

18. The panda cub is 1/900th the size of its mother, one of the smallest newborn mammals relative to its mothers size.

20. Pandas do not hibernate, they like their bamboo too much.

21. Pandas are China’s national treasure and Chinese really love them. Hundreds of years ago, warring tribes in China would raise a flag with a picture of a panda on it to stop a battle or call a truce. Peace for pandas!

22. In Chengdu you can buy anything panda related.

23. According to a Chinese fairy tale the panda used to have a black body and a white head. After the dead of a little girl, the pandas were of course really sad. As they wiped their eyes, hugged each other, and covered the ears, they smeared the black from their paws unto each other.

24. There is another similar story:  the panda was once an all-white bear. When a small girl tried to save a panda cub from being attacked by a leopard, the leopard killed the girl instead. Pandas came to her funeral wearing armbands of black ashes. As they wiped their eyes, hugged each other, and covered the ears, they smudged the black ashes.

24. After fertilization, a female panda can store the sperm in her belly up to 4 months to make sure the baby is born in the right conditions.

25.  Pandas have 5 fingers, some kind of thumb and membranes between their fingers.

26. Unlike many other animals in Ancient China, pandas were rarely thought to have medicinal uses. One of the few known uses is Sichuan tribal peoples’ use of panda urine to melt accidentally swallowed needles.

27. Under its fur, the skin of a panda is black where its fur is black, and pink where its fur is white.

28. A pandas throat has a special lining to protect it from bamboo splinters.

29. More than half of newborn pandas die from diseases or from being accidentally crushed by their mothers.

30. Many Chinese philosophers believe that the universe  is made from two opposing forces, Yin and Yang. The panda is one symbol of this philosophy with its contrasting black-and-white fur. The Chinese believe that the gentle nature of the panda demonstrates how the Yin and Yang bring peace and harmony when they are balanced.

31. The WWF logo was inspired by Chi-Chi, a giant panda brought to the London Zoo in 1961. The WWF wanted a logo with an animal that is beautiful, endangered and loved by many people around the world. They also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs.

32. A panda fur is worth between $60,000 and $100,000 on the illegal trade market.

33. Some biologists think that extinction is inevitable and the money spend on breeding pandas would be wiser spend on animals that do have a chance to make it.