Physical Panda Information and Introduction to Body Data Facts of Giant Panda Bears

 Panda physical informaiton and data, introduction to panda body facts, digstive system, tail, fur, head and eye.

Playing Panda Tour    Volunteer Intern Trip    China  Panda Travel    Track Wild Footprint    Close-up Photography    School Fieldwork    Panda Photo Programs

Back to Panda Facts Information and Panda Bears FAQ Questions

    Adult pandas weigh 165-353 pounds. Their body length is 4-5 feet, with a 5 inch tail. Males are slightly larger than females. They have stronger forelegs, wider muzzles and are 10-20% heavier. Pandas have stout, powerful limbs. Their hind feet lack a heel pad.

     Pandas have scent glands positioned under the tail. Their head is relatively massive with well developed chewing muscles. Unlike other bears, they have well-developed premolars.

     Their molars are broad and flat and adapted to chewing bamboo. Their digestive system is typical of a carnivore; only slightly adapted for processing bamboo: tough esophageal lining, pyloric region of stomach thick and muscular, small intestine shortened, colon surface area enlarged.

      Male genitalia is similar to red panda. Vision is poor. Their pupils have a vertical slit like many nocturnal animals. Sense of smell is very good.

      A panda's coat is thick and wooly. It is white with black eye patches, ears, legs, band across shoulders and sometimes tip of tail. Fur is slightly oily preventing water penetration. Their striking coloration is thought to be an important signal to other pandas ( They avoid contact and have poor vision). Brown-and-white pandas exist but are extremely rare. Black and white and bear like, the panda roams in a well defined home range of between 3.9 and 12 km.

     Much research on pandas has been conducted at the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan. Studies here showed that the panda lived a solitary existence, meeting only occasionally with other pandas, except during the very brief mating season in late spring or early summer when several males come together and compete for a female. A female is on heat for two to three days. New research from Shaanxi Province's Qinling Mountains now presents a different scenario. Far from living alone, it claims, pandas in Qinling live and travel in groups of at least two, and sometimes in groups of up to 28.

    Giant pandas have a massive head, heavy body, short tail, rounded ears and plantigrade feet (i.e., both heel and toe make contact with the ground when walking in a manner similar to humans).

     A sedentary bear who usually stays in a selected feeding area eating large amounts of bamboo, giant pandas generally move in a slow, determined manner. When startled, they will move at a slow trot to escape danger. Giant pandas, with their short claws, are capable of climbing trees very easily.

    The head of the giant panda is very large and has developed large molars which are specifically designed to crush fibrous plant material. It has powerful muscles which extend from the top of its head to the jaws giving it the capacity to crush tough stalks.

    Even the throat of the giant panda has undergone significant evolution as the esophagus has a tough, horny lining to protect the bear from injury due to bamboo splinters. The stomach is similarly protected with its thick muscular wall linings.

     Giant pandas have forepaws which are extremely flexible. Evolution has given them a enlarged wrist bone (the radial sesamoid) that works in the manner of an opposable thumb. This highly functional adaptation allows the giant panda to manipulate their primary food source, bamboo stems and leaves, with dexterity and precision. The hind feet of the giant panda lack the heel pad found in the other seven bear species.

     While members of the order Carnivora , giant pandas have evolved almost exclusively into vegetarians with accompanying changes in their dental structure and, also, to a lesser degree, their digestive tract. Their short intestine is still not sufficiently developed to remove all of the available nutrients from the fibrous bamboo on which they feed.

     The basic fur colour 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 colouring provides camouflage. There is also speculation that its striking colour pattern may be a clear message to other pandas to stay away as the giant panda is an extremely solitary animal.

    The fur of the giant panda is thick and coarse. It consists of a coarse outer layer and a very dense, wooly-like under fur. To the touch, the fur feels oily. This oily protective coating helps protects giant pandas from the cool and damp climate in which the bear lives. 

Panda physical informaiton and date, introduction to panda body facts, digstive system, tail, fur, head and eye

Home     Tour Questions     Booking Payment     Panda Facts FAQ     Wolong     Panda Research     Photo Gallery     Panda Reserve     Panda Gifts Shop

Please e-mail to both:  and                    More contacting information