Let’s learn something new about red pandas! These adorable mammals have long, fluffy tails with their distinctive red color and white markings. Although they share the name with an undoubtedly more famous giant panda, these two species are not so closely related! In fact, red pandas were first classified as raccoons! Moreover, did you know the name “panda” was primarily attached to these red cuties?
Where can we find red pandas?
These adorable creatures live in temperate forests of the Himalayas, as well from Western Nepal to Eastern China. They can also be found in Southern Tibet, India, Bhutan, and Burma. The only important thing for red pandas is bamboo! So, if you find yourself walking through these tropical and temperate forests, you will most likely meet these beautiful animals.
Size and appearance.
Red pandas are similar to the size of a house cat. They have long, soft reddish fur on the upperparts, with darker on the lower parts. The light face with tear markings makes these mammals irresistible. The head is round, with medium-sized pointy ears, and black eyes and nose. The length varies from 20 to 25 inches, while weight goes between 8,2 to 13, 7 pounds. Moreover, these animals have sharp and curved claws and rotatable ankles.
What do red pandas eat?
These excellent climbers spend most of their time in trees, eating bamboo. But, that’s not their only food. They can also feed on small mammals, birds, eggs, flowers, berries, leaves, and roots. Although bamboo is a big part of their diet, red pandas can digest only 24 percent of it. But, they solve that problem by eating fresh leaves and shoots, which they digest much faster.
These pandas mate during the spring or summer, after about 18 months when they reach sexual maturity. A few days before birth, females collect brushwood, grass, and leaves to build a nest, which is located in a hollow tree. After 112 to 158 days, one to four babies are born. After only 90 days, the cubs leave the nest.
Red pandas have a few interesting ways to defend themselves from predators. Like skunks, they will spray their smell all over! Yet, if that doesn’t work, they stand on the back feet and strike out with the claws on their front feet!
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