January 16th, 2023
Contrary to what the name suggests, they are not very closely related to the Giant Panda.
Instead, their close-ish relatives include raccoons, weasels and skunks.
Did this surprise you?
Scientific name: Ailurus fulgens Family: Ailuridae Diet: Technically carnivores (but feed as if they were harbivores) Habitat: Forested areas at high altitudes Distribution: Eastern Asia (Myanmar, Central China, Nepal) Population: 10,000 individuals Level of Endangerment: Endangered
Their size is equivalent to that of a domesticated cat.
Their copper-coat consists of thick and fluffy fur, and their 20-inch tail has stripes of dark brown rings.
Their habitat features lots of red moss, and so their red color scheme evolved to camouflage them.
There are two species of Red Panda:
The Chinese Red Panda is a touch bigger (30 lbs) and has more prominent tail-rings.
- Himalayan Red Panda
- Chinese Red Panda
The Himalayan weighs 20 lbs on average.
Even though their tail can’t grip things, it likewise boosts their climbing abilities
Each paw has 5 semi-retractile claws in order to help them climb trees.
Both forelimbs have an extra thumb which also aids their climbing (and grabbing their fave snack; bamboo.)
The Red Panda inhabits mountainous forest landscapes.
They spend 90% of their time in treetops, where they sleep and sunbathe, and it is equally a good way of escaping predators such as jackals and snow leopards.
More specifically, they reside in the countries of Nepal, Myanmar and Central China.
Except for zoos around the world, the Red Panda only exists in Eastern Asia.
Because they are not technically equipped to process bamboo they must eat large quantities of it.
Although their digestive system is equipped for a carnivorous diet, they feed as herbivores.
On the daily, they need to eat 3 lbs bamboo leaves or 9 lbs bamboo shoots to sustain themselves.
Babies are fully dependent on their mother for the first three months, but still continue nursing for another two.
A female remains pregnant for just over 4 months and then gives birth to a litter of 1-4 cubs
Newborns are are fully equipped with fur but completely blind.
#1 Their fluffy and characteristic tail not only helps them with balance, it is often re-purposed as a blanket during cold weathers.
#2 Allegedly the Red Panda’s name stems from a Nepali word; “ponya”. Ponya means bamboo or plant eating creature.
#3 They defecate huge amounts.; in one week they will easily pass volumes equivalent to their body weight.