Pandas: Giant Panda Bear

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Panda Bear : The Panda is a large mammal which is about the same size as a Black Bear. Adult Pandas grow to be about 5-6 feet high. They will whey up to 276 pounds and males wheighing 10% to 20% more than females. With few other enimies other than people the lifespan of a wild Panda is about 25 years or more. In China they call the Panda "Xiongmao", which means Giant Cat Bear. The Panda was believed to have magical powers that could ward off natural disasters and evil spirits. Writings about the Pandas can be traced back 3,000 years. They were even kept as pets by Chinese Emperors. The Panda was first introduced to the Western world in 1869 by a French missionary. He sent a pelt to a Museum in Paris. The giant panda bear only exists today in six small areas located in inland China. The habitat, suitable for the bamboo on which it survives, is a cold, damp coniferous forest. The elevation ranges from 4,000 to 11,000 feet high. In most of the areas in which they still roam wild, they must compete with farmers who farm the river valleys and the lower slopes of the mountains. Panda Bears eat over fifteen different kinds of Bamboo. Because of a inefficient intestinal system the Panda must feed for 12 to 16 hours a day, they can consume 22 to 40 pounds of Bamboo each day. When they eat fresh Bamboo shoots they eat about 84 pounds every day. Giant pandas are one of the four bear species who do not hibernate. The reasons for this are twofold. First, the natural food source of these bears is not sufficiently high in calories and protein to allow them to put on sufficient fat resources to last a lengthy period of hibernation. Second, they live in a habitat zone where food is available on a year round basis. The basic fur color of the giant panda is white with black eye patches, ears, legs, feet, chest, and shoulders. Within its natural environment ( the deep forest and, at upper elevations, snow and rock) , its mottled coloring provides camouflage. There is also...
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