What is your impression of giant panda? The cutest animal in the world, a national treasure, or a mysterious species? In many people’s minds, the panda is always naive, in black and white coat, and only good at eating, sleeping and acting cute.
In fact, there are many other sides of the panda facts that you may not know. Here we will show you some interesting cold knowledge of the giant pandas as follows.
1. There are are two kinds of giant pandas in China: one more like bear, and the other more like cat.
Sichuan Giant Panda (四川大熊猫）and Shaanxi Qinling Giant Panda (陕西秦岭大熊猫) are not just different from their old home, but two subspecies. In other words, there are two kinds of giant pandas in China.
On the left side of the picture is the Sichuan Giant Panda, with a larger head and a long head shape, looking more like a bear, while on the right side of the picture is the Qinling Giant Panda from Shaanxi Province, with a round head and short mouth, looking more like a cat.
Although they are close relatives, DNA research shows that the Sichuan Giant Panda and the Qinling Giant Panda are actually not too familiar with each other and have not been in contact for 300,000 years.
2. What is it like to be protected by a national treasure?
Although the IUCN has downgraded the giant panda from an endangered species to a vulnerable species in 2016. But experts say conservation work for giant pandas should not be slackened at all, as it is important for the entire ecosystem.
To protect the giant panda, the companion species that live with the giant panda (such as the golden monkey, antelope, and ibis) must be protected. So the giant panda is a flagship species (also called an umbrella species), like an umbrella supporting a piece of the sky. His ecosystem value far exceeds the value of the giant panda itself.
3. Chinese people in ancient times are afraid of pandas because…
Giant panda was described as iron-eating beasts in old days. And in fact, the panda is a relic species, with contemporaries such as the woolly rhinoceros, the mammoth and the saber-toothed tiger. 8 million years ago or even earlier, the ancestors of the giant panda were very small, similar in size to dogs.
Despite its small size, studies have shown that the giant panda was a pure carnivore in ancient times, and as one of the oldest types of bears, the giant panda was a full-fledged combatant.
4. Panda droppings are organic fertilizer.
Pandas have poor gastrointestinal absorption and retain 70% of the nutrients in their droppings, plus a lot of other nutritious foods are added to the food of captive pandas, so the protein and crude fiber content of the feces is high, which is considered organic fertilizer delivery.
Sichuan has a tea called “panda tea”, the fertilizer applied is the panda’s droppings. The newborn panda will eat its mother’s feces because the panda cub’s intestines are sterile and it must ingest the feces of its own kind to obtain those intestinal flora that are important for survival.
5.Pandas have been on Earth for 2-3 million years.
According to scientists, the ancestors of pandas appeared 2-3 million years ago in the early years of the Pluvial period. Smaller in size than the present-day panda, the giant panda has since adapted to life in subtropical bamboo forests, gradually increasing in size to rely on bamboo for its livelihood. In the middle and late Pleistocene, 500,000-70,000 years ago, the giant panda was at its peak.
6. Female pandas are in heat for only about 2 days per year.
The best time for female pandas to conceive is usually only 1-2 days per year. If the opportunity to conceive in there one or two days is missed, then one will have to wait another year if you want female pandas to conceive a baby panda. No wonder the number of pandas is so scarce!
7. You cannot imagine how lazy the panda is…
A giant panda weighing 90kg has a metabolic level less than half that of a human of the same weight. A giant panda spends most of the day resting. Even when they are active, they usually only walk about 20 meters per hour.
Giant pandas eat mainly bamboo. Because bamboo is low in nutrition and energy and difficult to digest, pandas have to eat large amounts of bamboo every day. At the same time, giant pandas also want to minimize energy consumption, eat more and move less every day, and lazy stay there has become the life habits of giant pandas.
8.Giant pandas also have color photos.
People in China always tease that the greatest wish of a giant panda is to have a color photo taken! This wish finally came true after the discovery of brown pandas in the Qinling Mountains.
In China, brown pandas have been found five times in the past 30 years. “Qizai”, which was discovered in 2009, is the only surviving brown giant panda in the world. Scientists speculate that due to some genetic mutations and geographical peculiarities, it may also be a reversionary phenomenon that caused “Qizai’ to have a brown and white coat.