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Giant panda
Giant panda
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The Giant Panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca ("black-and-white cat-foot"), is a mammal usually classified in the bear family, Ursidae native to central China. The Giant Panda lives in mountainous regions, like Sichuan and Tibet.

Its Chinese name means "bear-cat," and can also be read in reverse to mean the same thing. Its Western epithet is named after the Red Panda. It used to be known as Mottled Bear (Ailuropus melanoleucus).

Despite being taxonomically a carnivore, its diet is overwhelmingly vegetarian. In fact, it lives almost entirely on bamboo, although, like most animals, pandas have been known to eat eggs, and they consume some insects along with their bamboo diet.

It is also distantly related to the Red Panda, but the shared name appears to derive from their common bamboo diet. Until its relation with Red Panda was discovered in 1901, the Giant Panda was known as parti-coloured bear.

The precise taxonomic classification of the panda is still under debate; it may be more closely related to raccoons than to bears.

Giant Pandas are endangered, threatened by continued loss of habitat and by a low birthrate, both in the wild and in captivity. About 1,600 are believed to survive in the wild. The Giant Panda is the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund, a conservation organization

It was first made known to the West in 1869 by the French missionary Armand David (1826-1900). The Giant Panda has long been a favourite of the public, at least partly on account of the fact that the species has an appealing baby-like appearance that makes it seem to resemble a living teddy bear. The fact that it is usually depicted reclining peacefully eating bamboo, as opposed to hunting, also adds to its image of innocence.

Red Panda
The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens - ???), is a mostly vegetarian cat-size (60-cm long) mammal, formerly classified in the raccoon family (Procyonidae), but now classified as a member of the bear family (Ursidae). It is native to the Himalayas and southern China. Fossil evidence suggests that it once also existed in North America.

Its Western name is taken from a Himalayan language, maybe Nepalese but its meaning is uncertain. One theory is that "panda" is an anglicization of "poonya," which means "eater of bamboo." Its Chinese name means "little panda," so called, not to distinguish it from the Giant Panda, but named after it. It is also commonly known as the Firefox and, because of its distinctive cry, the "Wah".

Like the Giant Panda, it eats large amounts of bamboo, but its diet also includes fruit, roots, acorns, and lichen, and captive Red Pandas readily eat meat. Red Pandas are excellent climbers, and forage largely in trees. Since the Red Panda mainly eats bamboo, it has a low-calorie diet which causes it to not do much more than eat and sleep.

The species is endangered, largely because of habitat loss, though there is also some illegal hunting
Phylum: Chordata
Class: mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Source: Wikipedia Read more about Pandas
Giant Panda
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