Giant Pandas

Last Update: 2008-4-7; By sweetcake

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TOPFeatures Appearance

A Giant Panda has a large-round head, a short tail, a pair of black eye sockets, a pair of black ears, light brown or grey abdomen and black extremities, but the main color of its body is white. The body length of a Giant Panda is from 120 centimeters to 180 centimeters, tail length from 10 centimeters to 20 centimeters and weight from 60 kilograms to 110 kilograms. Different with other animals and human, a Giant Panda has 6 six toes on its half soles, but the sixth one can not be used as a claw.

TOPDistribution

At present, it is difficult to know how many wild Giant Pandas exist, because they live in the dense temperate forests of high mountains located on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, southwest China. Qinling, Minshan, Qionglai, Liangshan, Daxiangling and Xiaoxiangling are 6 main regions where Pandas can be found. Two surveys to indetify the number of wild Giant Pandas were taken between 1970s and 1980s. The final number was around 1,000, but it might be lower than the actual number. 37 counties are located in the regions where the Giant Pandas live. 7 of these - Foping County, Shanxi province. Pingwu County, Qingchuan County, Beichuan County, Baoxing County, Wenchuan County and Tianquan County, Sichuan province were found to have around 100 Giant pandas each. In 11 there were over 50 Pandas per county and in 19 counties there were fewer than 50 Pandas in each county.

Then net reproductive rate of Giant Pandas is 1.0674, which means the number of Giant Pandas is increasing quite slowly. Another survey taken by National Forestry Bureau recently showed the number of Giant Pandas has increased to 1596, but 161 of these are in a feeding program.

According to a report from National Forestry Bureau, Qinling Giant Pandas, a new subspecies of Giant Panda, separated from Sichuan Giant Pandas about 50,000 years ago. A Qinling Giant Panda's head is more round than a Sichuan Giant Panda. The total number is 273 and some of them are brown.

TOPLiving Habits and Foods

Giant Pandas usually live alone. Their sleeping time lasts 8 hours a day, but they sleep at night and in the day time. A male Giant Panda may have a domain of around 30 kilometers. It often overlaps others', so the males often fight for love and food. But female never do. Giant Pandas eat 50 species of bamboo which grow in alpine and subalpine regions and they like the most nutritious parts of these bamboos very much. Sometimes, they will eat corpses of other animals. A Giant Panda will eat 12 kilograms to 38 kilograms of food a day, and this weight is close to 40% of its body weight. There are usually 2 kinds of bamboos in a habitat region, 1 of the 2 may die after several decades, and if this happens Giant Pandas would be in danger will be threatened.

TOPGrowth

The average life expectancy of Giant Pandas is 15 years and the age of sexual maturity is 6.5 to 7.5 years. Mating season is around April, and babies are usually born in September of the same year. A pregnant Giant Panda usually gives birth to 1 baby and on rare occasion twin are born. A baby is only 100 to 200grams when it is just born and a month later 1 kilogram.They born with black and white hair, but can't walk or see. At three months old baby the begins to learn to walk and its sight reaches to normality. At half a year old the baby begins to learn living skills, and after another half a year it will leave its mother and live alone. The sex ratio of wild Giant Pandas is 1:1.

TOPArtificial Breeding

The survival rate of wild the Giant Panda babies is only 40%, so programs have been established to breed Giant Pandas. In the last 2 decades, the technologies for artificial breeding have improved significantly. In 2006, 34 artificial breeding Giant Pandas were born and 30 survived. Many artificially bred Giant Pandas have been sent to other places of the world. Research shows that the artificially bred Giant pandas’ have an average life expectancy of 20 years which is longer than the wild Pandas (15 years). But wild female ones give birth to more babies than those that are artificially bred.

Giant Pandas like to live in their natural home, so let's protect the environment together.

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