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Monday, March 6, 2017

The Giant Panda

The Bamboo Bear
Area: China

Habitat: Forests

Food: Bamboo, grasses, bulbs, some insects and fruit

Size: 5 feet long

Babies: Cubs are born hairless and with their eyes closed.

For a long time, scientists weren’t sure if giant pandas were bears or perhaps more closely related to raccoons. Now we know that giant pandas are indeed members of the bear family, similar to other bears in their general looks and the way they walk and climb.

Bamboo is the most important plant in a giant panda's life. They spend at least 12 hours each day eating bamboo. Pandas grasp bamboo stalks with their five fingers and a special wristbone. They use their teeth to peel off the tough outer layers of the stalk to reveal the soft inner tissue. They also eat the leaves.

Giant pandas are only about the size of a stick of butter at birth, and they're hairless and helpless. The panda mother gives great care to her tiny cub, usually cradling it in one paw and holding it close to her chest. For several days after birth, the mother does not leave the den, not even to eat or drink!

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