Pandas are one of the most adorable animals, and always a popular choice with kids. If you’ve ever wondered about these intriguing animals, you’re sure to find these peculiar panda facts for kids very interesting!
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Learn all about baby pandas, what pandas eat, how they live, and why they are a national treasure with these panda facts for kids (or anyone who loves pandas!).
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Panda Facts for Kids
#1. There Are 2 Types of Panda
The Giant Panda who is black and white and part of the bear family (Ursidae), and the Red Panda who is closely linked to the raccoon and skunk family but are actually a family on their own (Ailuridae).
#2. Baby Giant Pandas are Born Blind
Baby Giant Pandas are born without hair and cannot see for 6-8 weeks after birth. They usually measure just 15-20cms, and weigh just 3-6 ounces.
Their mother does not leave them at all for the first 6 weeks, and they stay with her until they are 18 months old.
#3. Pandas Have Lots of Teeth!
The Panda has 42 teeth. And, like us humans, they have baby teeth that fall out and are replaced with ‘adult’ teeth.
#4. Pandas Love Bamboo
A panda’s favourite food is bamboo. The Giant Panda spends at least 12 hours a day eating it!
To help them chew they have giant, powerful cheek muscles, which gives them their chubby look. They can peel and eat a bamboo cane in around 40 seconds.
#5. The Panda’s Throat Has a Special Lining
This special lining is to protect the panda from splinters that come off the bamboo canes.
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#6. Pandas Do Not Hibernate
Unlike other bears, pandas do not hibernate. They only absorb approximately 25-30% of the nutrients in the bamboo they eat, so they can never eat enough to build up the reserves to keep them alive through a winter hibernation.
#7. Pandas are Carnivores
Both the Red and Giant Panda are carnivores, meaning they eat meat too. But 99% of their diet consists of vegetation in the form of bamboo.
#8. Giant Pandas Are an Endangered Species
It is estimated that there are only 1,000 wild pandas living in China, and approximately 120 live in zoos around the world.
The Red Panda is a protected species and lives mainly in the the Eastern Himalayas.
#9. Pandas Have False Thumbs!
Both the Red Panda and the Giant Panda have an extra digit! Known as false thumbs, they are really extended wrist bones and have evolved over the centuries as a result of the Panda’s Bamboo diet.
#10. Red Pandas Have Extraordinary Tails
A fully grown Red Panda is only slightly larger than a domestic cat but they have long, bushy tails that can add up to 18 inches to their length.
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#11. Giant Pandas Have Excellent Eye Sight
The Giant Panda has very good eyesight as their pupils are vertical like a cat’s eyes. In China they are called ‘Da Xiong Mao’ which translates to ‘Giant Bear Cat’.
#12. How Long Do Pandas Live?
In the wild, the Panda will live for between 20 and 25 years but may live up to 35 years in captivity.
#13. Pandas Can Swim!
The Giant Panda moves slowly but they are excellent tree climbers and proficient swimmers. They are very agile for their size – although most can’t do Kung Fu like Po!
#14. Famous Pandas
The Giant Panda may be more famous than the Red Pandas thanks to films such as the Kung Fu Panda series, although a Red Panda does appear in all the Kung Fu Panda movies (Shifu). But did you know that the Mozilla browser, ‘Firefox’ is another name for the Red Panda? And to honour its association with the species, Mozilla adopted two baby Red Pandas that were born at Knoxville Zoo.
#15. Pandas Are Symbols of Peace
The Giant Panda is considered a national treasure and a symbol of peace in China. They used to be hunted for their pelts, as it was believed that they gave magical protection from evil spirits. These days there is a hefty penalty for anyone caught hunting them.
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Have your say! Are you a panda fan? Do you have any more fun Panda facts for kids? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!