The Giant Panda

1647 Words Sep 23rd, 1999 7 Pages
The Giant Panda (Ailuropoda Melanoleuca) lives in the bamboo forests

of southwestern China. This type of panda is endangered and to this day

"there are only around a thousand pandas left" (http//, 1).

"Adult giant pandas have a length of 160 to 180

centimeters (5/14 to 6 feet). The weight of an adult

male giant panda is normally between 80 and 125

kilograms (176 and 276 pounds) with males

typically weighing about 10% to 20% more than

females--about the same size as the American black

bear. However, unlike the black bear, giant pandas

do not hibernate and cannot walk on their hind

legs" (Etling 1).

"Giant pandas have a massive head, heavy body, short tail

(approximately 5 inches) rounded ears and plantigrade
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Without the ability to

move to new areas which have not been affected,

starvation and death will certainly occur for the

giant panda" (Etling 6).

"Although the giant panda has the digestive system of a carnivore,

however, over time the giant panda adapted to a vegetarian diet such as

bamboo" (, 1). the panda is often thought to eat only

bamboo; there are other foods that a panda will eat.

"While bamboo stalks and roots make up 95% of

its diet, the giant panda also feeds on gentians,

irises, crocuses, fish, pikas, vines, mushrooms, rice

grass and occasionally small rodents. The giant

panda will eat meat although rarely. The giant

panda must eat 20 to 40 pounds of food each day to

survive, and spends 10 to 16 hours a day feeding"

(Etling 6).

At one point in time, giant pandas flourished in eastern China and

several neighboring countries.

"The giant panda is believed to have made its first

appearance during the late Pilocene or early

Pleistocene, perhaps no more than two to three

million years ago. Panda fossils have been found in

present day Burma, Vietnam, and particularly early

in eastern China, as far north as Bejing" (Etling 2).

Today pandas are mostly in dense bamboo and mountains of

central/eastern China.

"Pandas occupy 6 small forest fragments in small

isolated areas of the central and eastern portions of

the Sichuan Province, in the

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