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Probably no animal in history has gone so far toward capturing the hearts of human beings as the plumpish, clumsy looking creature called the Giant Panda and many debates took place to know if one were to bring closer the pandas the raccoons or the bears. The recent genetic analyses show that the giant panda is closer to the bears whereas the red panda is closer to the raccoons....
Minion of of children, zoo men, wild animal hunters, photographers and toy makers everywhere. Since its official discovery, more than a century a go, in the remote, mountainous regions of western China - Giant Panda like not any other animal quite so intrigued and baffled naturalist.
The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), sometimes called the black-and-white cat-foot, is a kind of mammal from the family of the bears (Ursidae). The Ailuropodinae is the oldest family of the most primitive lineage of bears and the fossils of the oldest ancestral panda, Ailuropoda lufengensesis, which are found in souther China, are about 8 million years old. Comparative blood-protein tests and molecular-genetic investigations of the recent research has also indicated that while the giant panda branched off independently on the evolutinary tree, it is indeed closer to the bear family than to the raccoon. Thus the large Panda is to be arranged now clearly in the family of the bears, as an only well-known living representative of the family Ailuropoda.
Sometimes as symbol of the WWF and also the protection of species generally he attained world-wide admittingness despite his very much limited circulation area. The existence of this puzzling animal was first revealed in 1869 when a French missionary naturalist Pere Jean Pierre Armand David, astonished fellow scientists by sending back to Paris a description, pelt and skeleton of new species he namen Ursus melanoleucus or "black white bear". He concluded that they more closely resembled those of a much smaller animal known to occupy the same territory: the red panda which looked like a cross between a raccoon and a fox but revealed its primary ancestry in a raccoonlike body and facial stripes and a long ringed tail. The stronghold of the giant panda is the formidable fastness of the easter HImalayas near the Chinese-Tibetian border, a vast wilderness of jagged peaks thrusting 20,000 feet in the air above cavernous valleys and torrential mountain streams.
Like bears, giant pandas are basically heavy ponderous land creatures. The giant panda reaches a length from 120 to 190 centimeter and the weight of adults of animals varies from 75 to 130 kilograms, though like many bears they can climb trees to escape danger or take a nap and are especially adept at climbing when young. Although it was long thought that bamboo was the sole item in the diet of the panda, bones found in stomachs of dead animals idicate that the species is carnivorous, occasionally eating small mammals as well as birds and carrion. They live alone except when breeding and the female generally produces one offspring in winter, sometimes two.
The panda's odd markings are still something of a mystery. According to one theory, under certain conditions of contrasting light and shadow on winter snow the black and white markings acs as camouflage, though "bei shung" has few enemies to fear in its mountain retreat. Although it was once thought that the giant panda population did not exceed 150 or 200 individuals, more recent, educated guesses have put the figure at several thousand animals.
What is black and white and black and white and black and white?
Pandas symbolize the diversity and tenacity of life and they does not realize that are on the brink of extinction. Just as humans are the cause of its decline, only humans can now prevent it from ceasing to exist altogether.
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Panda Bear Picture
Since there are so few captive pandas, the Chinese government has officially banned hunting them and only rarely permits their export. The panda remains one of the world's most mysterious creatures, nearly as baffling a subject of investigation in captivity as it is when free.
The giant pandas remote and nearly inaccessible HImalayan habitat and the protection provided by the Chinese government safeguard it from hunters guns. Signicificant studies of pandas in the wild does not exist. Almost all scientific knowledge of their behavior has of necessity been based on observations of captive animals in zoos.
The mating time of the large Pandas falls into the months March until May. It can come also to fights between the males for the mating privilege. Most births fall into the months August or September, the throw size amount to one or two, rarely three. Newborn pandas are tiny.
They weigh only approximately 90 to 130 gram and are covered with pouring rem white skin. With approximately one month young animals have the typical skin design, with 40 to 60 days open them the eyes and with five to six months take them for the first time solid food to itself. With eight to nine months the young animals are cured finally and leave the mother with approximately 18 months.
The sex-ripe occurs usually with five to seven years. The life expectancy of a Pandas in wilderness course amounts to about 25 years. Breeders and biologists often experience difficulty in inducing captive pandas to mate.
One highly publicized study, which involved two attempts to male the London zoo's female, Chi-Chi with the male An-An of the Moscow zoo, ended in failure. The Peking zoo has been more sucessful because at least two baby pandas have been born in captivity there. The problem seems to be that the two pay little or not attention to each other, in accordance with the asocial behavior pattern of their species.
Panda Bear Fact
Name: Panda Bear (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
Age at Maturity: 5 to 6 years
Length of life: 30 years in captivity. Unknown in the wild.
Size: 160 to 190 cm
Weight: 75 to 130 kg males
Habitat: Mountain forest
Diet: Bamboo, wild plants
Gestation: 4 to 6 months in the wild. Average 5 months.
In the captivity 3 to 5 months.
Cubs: 1 to 2 cubs, rarely 3
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