Monday, August 20, 2007

Giant Panda

The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Chinese Hanyu Pinyin: Dàxióngmāo) is a mammal classified in the bear family, Ursidae, native to central-western and southwestern China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though belonging to the order Carnivora, the panda has a diet which is 99% bamboo. Pandas may eat other foods such as honey, eggs, fish and yams.
The Giant Panda is an endangered animal; an estimated 2,000 pandas live in the wild and over 180 were reported to live in captivity by August 2006 in mainland China (another source by the end of 2006 put the figure for China at 221, with twenty pandas living outside of China. Reports show that the numbers of wild panda are on the rise.
The Giant Panda has a black-and-white coat. Adults measure around 1.5 m long and around 75 cm tall at the shoulder. Males can weigh up to 115 kg (253 pounds). Females are generally smaller than males, and can occasionally weigh up to 100 kg (220 pounds). Giant Pandas live in mountainous regions, such as Sichuan, Gansu, Shaanxi, and Tibet. While the Chinese dragon has been historically a national emblem for China, since the latter half of the 20th century the Giant Panda has also become a national emblem for China. Its image appears on a large number of modern Chinese commemorative silver, gold, and platinum coins....(more on
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