Molecular Data Results: For many decades, the Giant Panda taxonomic classification was under debate since the animal shared both characteristics with bears and raccoons. However, molecular studies suggest that Giant Pandas are true bears. The Giant Panda belongs in the Urisdae, although they have a different early history of the main Ursine stock. The closets relative that the Giant Panda has in that family is the Spectacled Bear of South America. Although, the Red Panda has yet to be classified in which family it belongs, it shares several features with the Giant Panda. They both live in the same habitat, they have similar bamboo diets, and they both have a pseudo thumb.
How Giant Pandas look
Giant pandas have a distinctive black and white fur coat, with black fur patches around their eyes similar to that of a raccoon. The Giant pandas also have black fur around their ears, muzzle, legs and arms including the shoulder. Their thick fur coat helps them stay warm in their mountainous homes. They have two unique physical features that help them to hold, crush, and eat bamboo: broad, flat molar teeth and enlarged wrist bones that functions as an opposable thumb. Giant pandas start to grow permanent teeth around 7 months old. Their back teeth are approximately seven times larger than a human’s, and with a wider surface area. Their powerful jaws and strong teeth help them eat bamboo. Giant pandas have five “fingers” and one “thumb” which helps them grip the bamboo and climb.