The Giant Panda - The Giant Panda Kelley Benham April 15,...

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The Giant Panda Kelley Benham April 15, 2008
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The Giant Panda, or Ailuropoda melanoleuca , is a mammal in the bear family. They belong to the order Carnivora, however, 99% of their diet is made up of bamboo. They need twenty-eight pounds of bamboo a day to satisfy their daily dietary needs. They will also eat honey, eggs, fish, oranges, and bananas when available. Males can weight up to 253 pounds and females, a little smaller, can weight up to 220 pounds. They usually live twenty to thirty years in captivity. Giant Pandas have a modified sesamoid bone referred to as their “thumb” that helps hold bamboo. There are twenty-five species of bamboo which the panda eats. However, only a few grow in the higher altitudes that the pandas now live in. The panda needs at least two species in their territory to survive. Their diet of bamboo is what gives them their round face. They require large and powerful jaw muscles to crush the bamboo. For many years scientists believed pandas lived most of their lives alone. Recent studies now show that a small group of pandas may share a large territory and meet outside of the breeding season. The giant panda is very elusive in the wild making observation of their natural behavior very difficult. Scientists in China are still trying to observe them in reserves. The Giant Panda lives in southwestern and central-western China. Once living in the lowlands, farming, development, and forest clearing have pushed them to the mountains. They are on the endangered species list and have been for many years. The latest report estimates there might be as many as 2,000 to 3,000 in the wild. China has 239 giant pandas in captivity and another 33 living outside the country. As of 2007, 12 pandas were living at zoos in the United States, 3 in Mexico, 6 in Europe, 12 in Japan, and two will be arriving in Australia in 2009. In Berlin, Germany, Bao Bao is the oldest male panda living in captivity. He has been in Berlin for 25 years.
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There are two subspecies of giant panda. These subclasses are based on color patterns,
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course ADS 4613 taught by Professor Dr.scottwillard during the Spring '08 term at Mississippi State.

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The Giant Panda - The Giant Panda Kelley Benham April 15,...

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