Logo of nature.ca - Canadian Museum of Nature.
Logo of Natural History Notebooks.
 
Button: Home. Button: Resources. Button: Notebooks A-Z.
Button: Français.
Home > Mammals > Giant Panda Next
Text: Mammals.
   
Giant Panda
Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca.
Giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca
More Images »

Where are they found? Asia

Map of the world.


One of the world's rarest animals, the giant panda lives in sub-alpine forests in the west-central region of China. The giant panda is a large, stocky animal measuring about 70 to 80 cm (27 to 32 in.) at the shoulder and weighing up to 150 kg (330 lb.).

Its diet consists primarily of plants (mainly bamboo), but it also eats small animals. It usually spends 10 to 12 hours a day eating, and will consume about 9 kg (20 lb.) of leaves and bamboo.

The classification of the panda has long been a matter of controversy among zoologists. Originally classified with the bears, it was later grouped with raccoons. The weight of evidence that has accumulated over the years, however, seems to support the view that it is more closely related to bears. Its closest living relative is the spectacled bear of South America.

A handful of giant pandas are kept in zoos of the Western World, where they have become star attractions. They do not often breed in captivity.

Poaching and capture for zoos are major threats. In addition, the isolation of the remaining wild populations places the species at risk from sudden disasters like disease or, as happened in the 1970s, a dieback of the main food plant (bamboo).


More Images
Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Photo: Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca.


Looking for photos?

The Canadian Museum of Nature has thousands of unique images reflecting the diversity of the natural world—including the photos and illustrations here in our Natural History NotebooksContact us to learn more!


To cite this page for personal use:
“Giant Panda”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last updated (Web site consulted

Previous
Button: Mammals. Photo: Lion (Panthera leo). Button: Birds. Photo: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Button: Fish. Photo: Brown trout (Salmo trutta). Button: Reptiles. Photo: Komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis).
Button: Amphibians. Photo: Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). Button: Invertebrates. Photo: House fly (Musca domestica).
Button: Dinosaurs. Illustration: Tyrannosaurus rex. Archive slide: S71-116. Button: Prehistoric. Illustration: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus).
Button: Navigate the World. Illustration: Map of the world.
 
Text: Play the games and interactives from our Mammal Gallery. Logo: Mammal Gallery.

Reproduction Rights    Credits    Explore Nature!    Comments or Questions?

Next Previous Next Previous