With Kung Fu Panda 3 arriving in cinemas on 11th March 2016 with paid previews on March 5th & 6th, the Panda will once again be thrust into the media spotlight. So we thought it would be fun to find 15 Peculiar Panda Facts for Kids to Know. Even big kids might learn something!
#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 Panda’s are born without hair and cannot see for six to eight weeks after birth. They usually measure just 15 to 20cms, about the size of a small ruler! And weigh just 3 to 6 ozs. 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. A Giant Panda’s, and a Red Panda’s favourite food is bamboo. The Giant Panda spends at least 12 hours a day eating it! And 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.
One of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet – KUNG FU PANDA 3 arrives in cinemas Friday 11th March 2016 with paid previews on March 5th & 6th.
When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!
#4. The Panda’s throat has a special lining to protect it from splinters that come off the bamboo canes.
#5. The Panda has 42 teeth. And like us humans, they have baby teeth that fall out and are replaced with ‘adult’ teeth.
#6. Pandas do not hibernate. They only absorb approximately 25 to 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. 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 captivity in zoos around the world. The Red Panda is a protected species too and lives mainly in the the Eastern Himalayas.
#9. 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.
#10. 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.
#11. 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.
#12. The Giant Panda has very good eyesight as their pupils are verticle like a cat’s eys. In China they are called ‘Da Xiong Mao’ which translates to ‘Giant Bear Cat’.
#13. In the wild the Panda will live for between 20 and 25 years but may live up to 35 years in captivity.
#14. 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!
#15. 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.
Do you have a fun Panda fact? Please share it with us in the comments box below.