For years scientists have wondered whether pandas are a type of bear, raccoon, or something all their own.
Through studying the genetic code (DNA) in pandas’ cells, scientists have confirmed the panda's relationship with bears.
Other vocalizations include honks, huffs, barks, and growls. Pandas scent mark trees, rocks, bamboo, and bushes. Human noses can smell the stinky, waxy scent mark from about a foot away, but pandas are more sensitive to smell, so to them it's even stronger!
We’ve discovered that a scent-marked tree or rock can serve as a community bulletin board, notifying pandas in the area what other pandas have been there and how long ago they left their scent mark.
Anyone who's tried to spot one of our panda cubs up in the tree napping can verify how difficult that can be!
Scientists have yet to confirm what the real purpose of the panda's coloration is.
These old-growth forests provide old, hollow logs and tree stumps large enough for panda dens.
Pandas stay in a home range that’s 3 to 7 square miles (8 to 18 square kilometers).
Bamboo leaves are also on the menu, as pandas strip them off the stalks, wad them up, and eat them.The Chinese call their beloved pandas large bear-cats.Giant pandas have also fascinated people living outside of China; French Missionary Pere Armand David first described them for science in 1869.Another panda can detect the sex, age, reproductive condition, social status, and even individual identity of the scent maker—as well as how long that scent has been there.Male pandas often perform “handstands” to leave scent marks.Giant pandas have also been known to eat grasses, bulbs, fruits, some insects, and even rodents and carrion—pretty much whatever they can find.At the San Diego Zoo, pandas are offered bamboo, carrots, yams, apples, and special biscuits designed for leaf-eating animals (called leafeater biscuits) that are made of grain and packed with all the vitamins and minerals pandas need.In areas where food isn’t as plentiful, the home range might be a bit larger.Like other bears, pandas spend most of the day eating and sleeping.They grasp bamboo stalks using their five digits and a special bone that extends from their wrist called a “pseudo-thumb.” That little pseudo-thumb adeptly holds and manipulates bamboo, almost as well as your thumb does.Pandas use their teeth to peel off the tough outer layers to reveal the soft inner tissue of the stalk.