Featured Animal: Giant Panda

Meet our featured animal, the giant panda!

giant panda

Here are five fun facts about giant pandas:

  • Giant pandas are endangered, with only about 1600 left living in the wild.
  • Giant pandas can weigh between 100-115 kg (220-250 lb.).
  • One of the interesting evolutionary traits of the panda is their protruding wrist bone that acts like a thumb. This helps the pandas hold bamboo while they munch on it with their strong molar teeth.
  • Bamboo makes up nearly the entire diet of the panda. Due to the low nutritional value of bamboo, pandas need to eat 10-20 kg (20-40 lb.) a day.
  • Female pandas are only able to become pregnant for 2-3 days each spring!

Learn more at our giant panda facts page.

Exploring Panda Bear Cuteness

Prompted by the public debut of Xiao Liwu at the San Diego Zoo, NPR’s The Two-Way discussed why we find panda bears utterly adorable.

For example, why do we find pandas so cute…

…while eating bamboo?

…while eating leaves?

…while hanging on a fence?

…while sleeping on a branch?

…while sleeping on some logs?

…while sleeping on a rock?

…or while just plain sleeping?

The reason according to NPR is that their big eyes, button noses, round faces, and clumsy yet cuddly bodies invoke parenting instincts in humans.

Read more about various panda bear cuteness research at NPR’s The Two-Way.

Learn more about pandas in Animal Fact Guide’s article, Giant Panda.

Two Pandas FedEx-ed from China to France

FedEx Panda Express

Did you know you can FedEx a panda? On January 15, two pandas named Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, who were born at the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, boarded a specially-chartered Boeing 777F flight known as the “FedEx Panda Express.”

During the non-stop flight to Paris, France (5,489 miles away), the pair of pandas passed the time snoozing and eating bamboo in custom-built enclosures. They were accompanied by a Chinese veterinarian and animal handler as well as the managing director from ZooParc de Beauval, their new home.

FedEx panda infographic
(Click image for larger PDF of the infographic.)

FedEx Express has a long history of transporting rare and delicate cargo, including other pandas, polar bears, white tigers, elephants, penguins, mountain lions, gorillas, eagles, and even a 13-foot tiger shark used in filming the movie “Jaws.”

For more information about Huan Huan and Yuan Zi’s trip, see the FedEx Blog.

To learn more about pandas, see Animal Fact Guide’s article, Giant Panda.

New Additions to Animal Fact Guide

Check out Animal Fact Guide’s recently added animal articles and fun downloads!

NEW ANIMALS

Atlantic puffinAtlantic Puffin
Did you know that Atlantic puffins live out in the open sea most of the time and only come to land to breed for a few months a year?  Also, although puffins resemble penguins in their black and white markings, they are not related to penguins at all. In stark contrast to penguins, Atlantic puffins are excellent fliers and can reach speeds up to 88 km/h (55mph)!
Learn more facts about Atlantic puffins »

Cougar (Mountain Lion)Cougar (Mountain Lion)
The cougar, also commonly called the mountain lion, puma, and panther, is the largest cat in North America.  However, unlike other big cats such as lions and tigers, the cougar cannot roar and instead purrs like a house cat. Furthermore, with a slender body and round head with pointed ears, the cougar’s body shape closely resembles that of a house cat, only larger.
Learn more facts about cougars »

Free Giant Panda Maze
FUN ANIMAL DOWNLOADS
We’ve also added more fun FREE downloads (in PDF format) to the Fun Stuff section including animal mazes! New additions include: