Giant Polar bear
Pandas are the oldest member of the bear family belonging to the primitive linage Ailuropodinae . For millions of years they were a small forest dwelling panda , about 3 million years ago larger panders started to develop along with other pandas some that were larger present day Giant panda. At this time (pliestocene) the range was over much of Eastern and Southern China, North as far as Beijing, further on food Taiwan, northern Mayanmar (Burma) and northern Vietnam.
Over their long Evolution panders adapted to a wide source of plants, slowly losing many of their carnivorous and omnivorous traits that their ancestors had. The giant pandas ancestors started to eat only bamboo as this plant was in abundance . Bamboo can only be partially digested , therefore the panda has to spend most of his waking hours of feeding . 99 percent of their diet comes from stems and leaves the bamboo.
Probably the most recognizable all bears because of its distinct black and white coloration. Most parts of the body are white, with black fur on their ears, the arms are black with a band going around the body.
The fur consists of two layers. The long course, and oily guard hairs , and a undercoat or fur that is thicker than the tropical bears , but lighter than the northern bears. They have short hind legs, and larger forelegs, this has evolved because of their tree climbing and feeding habits.
Today there are about 1000 giant pandas living in the wild. All these live in six remote mountain regions in China. There are 33 species of bamboo plants growing in these areas, but 15 species are most commonly used. In the summer the panda spends most of its time high up at over 7,000 ft. (2200m) these regions are temperate with montane broad-leaf forests and broad-leaf conifer mixed forests. During the season's the panda will move up and down the elevations in order to feed on different bamboo species that are growing at the time.
Winter the Giant panda will move into lower areas between 3900 to 6,500 ft. (1200 to 2000m) feeding on stems and any leads that are not dead, they mate and give birth also in the winter.
Living a solitary assistance for most of the year, they keep track of their neighbors and maintain distance by scent marking . Communicating this way allows the panda to avoid each other . During the mating season they communicate frequently through scent marking and vocalizations.
Giant panda facts
Size : 4 to 5 ft. ( 1.2 to 1.52 m )
Weight : 165 to 350 lbs ( 70 to 160 kgs )
Life span : Up to 20 years in the wild, in captivity they can live 25 to 30 years .
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