Pandas look like cute little teddy bears, and they are so incredibly unique. Probably the closest you have been to a panda is seeing them behind the glass at the zoo. However, they are impressive in the wild as well, and there are locations, primarily in Asia, where they may be seen in the wild. These spaces have become more limited as land continues to get developed, but there are some remaining wild bamboo forest areas where pandas can be found.
Pandas are somewhat of a gentle giant, although they will certainly protect themselves if they are provoked or led to feel they are in danger. They are wild animals, despite those cute and cuddly features. Here, take a closer look at some fun facts about pandas that everyone should know.
When you see a panda, it seems like the black and white colors of their fur stand out against other colors. For example, a fun game like this one clearly distinguishes the panda from other oriental things like fish and lotus flowers. There is a definite contrast.
But in reality, these colors actually provide camouflage for the panda. The unique colorations can certainly stand out in some areas, but when presented with their natural habitats, it generally has the opposite effect. The colors are also helpful for communication needs among the pandas.
The white of their fur helps to camouflage them in snowy areas, while the black of the fur helps make them less noticeable among leafy and shady terrains.
Feed Me, Please
One of the things that pandas enjoy the most is access to food. They spend the majority of their time eating, although they are not necessarily consuming a ton of food. Giant pandas are said to feed for up to 16 hours of their day, which is the majority of waking time. They aren’t feeding on massive amounts of meat or vegetables, though.
While they do spend this much time feeding, they are primarily chewing on bamboo stalks during those hours. That being said, a panda relies on bamboo to fulfill their dietary needs. They actually need access to 2 or more bamboo species to sustain them and ensure they don’t starve.
In addition to bamboo, pandas will eat some other items. They are 99% vegetarian but do eat some small animals or eggs. These are other parts of their diets:
- Bamboo roots
- Bamboo shoots
- Bamboo leaves
- Small animals
Pandas will eat things like kidney beans, wheat, pumpkin, and more as well. It just depends on what they find and what is available to them.
Unique Bone Structure
Did you know that pandas have an extended bone in their wrist? The wrist bones are enlarged to ensure that they can access their food and feed without struggle. The wrist bones also offer additional protection and climbing capability too.
For the most part, the wrist structure allows the pandas to eat better because the extended bone provides a better way for them to maintain their grip on bamboo. The wrist bones act similarly to our human thumb bones.
Shy and Quiet
Did you know that pandas are shy and rather scared of people in particular? When you see them in movies and portrayals, they are often shown as gentle, giant, and cuddly. While that may be true to some extent, they will actually avoid people as much as possible. You scare them.
These shy animals prefer to just stick to themselves in quiet areas that are familiar to them. This is one of the reasons that they are confined to such limited areas in the wild. While they are shy around people, they love to socialize among themselves. Pandas don’t care to be alone and prefer to have other pandas to play and goof around with.
Pandas in the Wild
The majority of pandas in the wild are located in parts of Asia, specifically in the mountain ranges of China. They were once considered an endangered species, but currently, they are categorized as vulnerable. In the Qinling and Minshan Mountains, there are approximately 20 areas of bamboo forests, and many of those locations have pandas living there.
You can be found in bamboo areas throughout the mountain ranges of China, but these are the most common areas.
The panda is a stunning creature that is absolutely unique in many ways. They are certainly fluffy and cuddly, and they are primarily gentle unless they feel they are in danger. They love to socialize, but primarily with their own kind. We hope you enjoyed some of these fun and unusual facts about pandas today!