Five Giant Panda Facts
1. Giant Pandas Have a Narrow Diet
2. Giant Panda Cubs are Tiny
A newborn giant panda is far from giant! At birth it weighs only 3 to 4 ounces (86 to 113 grams) and it is about 6 to 7 inches (15 to 17 centimeters) long.
A giant panda cub is born pink, blind, and toothless. For the first year of its life, its primary source of nutrition is its mother's milk.
To see a fun video, click HERE.
3. Giant Pandas Live in China
Giant pandas can only be found naturally in one place in the world, high in the mountains at the edge of the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau in China in the Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces.
Giant pandas used to live at lower elevations, but farming and deforestation drove them to the high bamboo forests.
Giant Pandas can be found in zoos in 13 different countries including the US, Japan, Spain, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and France. To learn more about the zoos in different countries that have giant pandas, click HERE.
4. Great Steps are Taken to Return Giant Pandas to the Wild
It is estimated that only 1,000 to 3,000 giant pandas live in the wild. To increase these numbers, programs are being developed to raise giant pandas that will eventually be released into the wild.
Scientists are making a great effort to have as little contact with captive-born cubs as possible so that the transition to living with other pandas will be smoother. They have even started to wear giant panda costumes when interacting with the cubs. Do you think the little pandas will fall for the trick?
5. Giant Pandas have a Secret Thumb
Giant pandas have five fingers, but they also have a "thumb" to help them hold bamboo. Located beneath a pad on their paw, they have an over-developed sesamoid bone.
The sesamoid bone is usually much smaller, but scientists believed it developed as an adaption to help the giant panda hold on to bamboo plants.
To learn more, click HERE.