15 Interesting Facts about Giant Panda
Get ready to meet one of nature's most cute animals with our 15 interesting facts about the giant panda…
1. Giant Panda are living fossil
Giant Panda have lived on Earth for 2 to 3 million years and they are living fossils. The ancestor of the giant panda is the Ailurarctos (“cat bear”), which is an extinct genus of the Chinese panda that lived 8 million years ago.
2. Giant Panda are big eaters
Every day they spend about 12 hours on eating, and eat up to 15 percent of their body weight. An adult can eat 12-38 kilos (27-84 lbs) of bamboo per day!
3. Giant Panda can poop 40 times a day
A panda can poop 40 times a day and weight as much as 28 kilos (66lb)y, equal to the weight of a 9-year-old boy. Even they eat a lot, but they only digest about 17 percent of what they eat throughout the day. They need to poop every 5 to 13 hours (Cows and horses usually poop every 24 hours.
4. A newborn panda cub is the same size as a stick of butter
A newborn panda cub is the same size as a stick of butter, weighting about 120 grams and measures about 15cm. It is only 1/900th the size of its mother. A giant panda baby can be considered the smallest mammal newborn relative to its mother's size.
But it can grow to between 1.6 meters (5.2 feet) and 1.8 meters (6 feet), and weigh between 80 kilos (176 pounds) and 150 kilos (330 pounds) when it becomes an adult.
5. Giant Panda go from pink to white and black (or brown).
Baby pandas are born pink. The iconic black and white color comes about three weeks later after birth. Their eyes are closed and only open six to eight weeks after birth.
6. Giant Panda are excellent tree climbers and very good swimmers
Despite their enormous size, pandas are excellent tree climbers and very good swimmers. They can climb as high as 13,000 feet and sometimes relax by doing handstands against trees.
7. Giant Panda actually used to eat both meat and plants
Pandas actually used to eat both meat and plants until they began their bamboo-exclusive diet about 2 million years ago. Now they will occasionally eat fish and fruit, and bamboo counts for 99 percent of pandas' diet.
8. Pandas grow very quickly.
It takes a baby panda one year to go from 120 grams to 45 kilos (100 pounds). It takes about four years for a female cub to become an adult and up to six years for a male cub.
9. Female Giant Panda are fertile only up to 3 days a year
Their breeding season lasts only two or three days from March to May. The cubs are usually born between July and September. Cubs stay with their mothers for 18 months before venturing off on their own!
10. Sexual Problem
Out of their natural habitat more than 60% of male pandas exhibit no sexual desire at all.
11. There is very few Giant Pandas in the wolrd
There are only about 1,600 in the wild and another few hundred in captivity. Pandas are considered to be endangered.
12. A giant panda usually gives birth to a single cub.
Sometimes twins are born, but when this happens, the mother typically ignores the weaker cub. She does not have enough energy to care for two cubs.
13. You can hardly see two giant pandas together in the wild
In the wild, it is very rare to see more than one panda at a time. Giant pandas cannot afford the energy it would take to compete with one another for food, territory, and mates.
The male and female giant pandas only meet during breeding season. After the mating, they will separate, and the female giant panda alone completes the pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing.
14. More than 60% of Giant Panda born in captivity die within a week
The newborn pandas often die from diseases or from being accidentally crushed by their mothers.
15.The life span of giant panda in the wild is around 20 years.
In captivity, they tend to live longer and may reach up to 30 years old.