1. All giant pandas in the world come from China. Their natural habitats are only found in China.
2. Unlike other bears with almost no dexterity on their claws, giant pandas can adduct and agilely grab with fingers. This feature helps them to grab bamboos and remove stems and leaves, which they don’t like, before eating.
3. The giant panda has lived for at least 8 million years on Earth since the age of their ancestor, the Ailurarctos. They have a shockingly strong bite that can chew up an iron cooking pot. This gave them their ancient nickname “the iron-eating beast”.
4. A female panda only ovulates once a year. The mortality rate for cubs is 40%. A newly-born baby panda weighs only about 140 grams. A mother is 900 times heavier than her baby at birth. They are almost all white at birth, and gradually develop black- and white-colored fur later on.
5. A male cub is considered adult at 7 years old. A female panda gives birth to 1 to 2 cubs every 2 years. Baby pandas live with their mothers for 18 months before taking their own adventures.
6. An artificial reared adult giant panda can weigh over 200 kilograms, where its wild counterpart weighs only 50 to 80 kilograms. They have thick and soft fur that can grow to 10 centimeters long.
7. Unlike most bears, giant pandas don’t hibernate. Their diet on bamboo causes them to lack fat for hibernation during winter. When winter falls, they move from hilltops to warmer places to look for bamboo. Well, it’s much more fun to keep eating and grow into a giant snowball when there’s food during winter anyway.
8.A panda starts eating bamboo when it turns 1 year old. Around 20 species of bamboo are consumed by giant pandas. 99% of a giant panda’s diet is made up of bamboo.
But since bamboo does not contain much nutrient, they have to consume 20 kilograms a day, which can take 16 hours a day eating.
They excrete 40 times a day, producing 50 kilograms of feces. Panda poop is precious too. Panda poop tea growing on giant panda feces can sell up to $440,000 per kilogram! It is reported that giant panda poop smells a slight bamboo freshness, like a “zongzi” rice dumpling. Do you wanna give it a try?
9. The giant panda has a sensitive nose. They can find the best bamboo stem by its scent even at night.
10. The panda is an omnivore, which means they eat both plants and meat. While their diet is mainly made up of bamboo, they also eat bamboo rats and other tiny animals, sometimes even rotten flesh.
11. The panda is a shy animal that loves to live independently. They sense other individuals by their scents so that they can avoid them. The only exception is during mating season (between March and May every year). Male pandas locates their female counterparts using their sensitive nose.
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