Red Panda Facts vs. Giant Panda Facts!

Red pandas and giant pandas. Must be pretty similar, right? I mean they’re both “pandas,” they both eat bamboo, they’re both cute and furry, they even share habitat! But there are also many differences between these two adored creatures. Here are ten facts that’ll make you a TRUE panda expert!

1. The red panda is not related to the giant panda. Whereas the giant panda belongs to Family: Ursidae (Bears), the red panda belongs to its own taxonomically unique Family: Ailuridae. The giant panda and the red panda do share some of the same characteristics. This is called “convergent evolution.”

Panda3_Tom_Jenkins 2. The red panda is actually not a panda, at all. It is believed the red panda was given the name “panda” which derived from the Nepalese words: “nigalya ponya” meaning “bamboo eater.”

3. The red panda is the “original panda!” Frederic Cuvier, a head keeper at the National Museum of Natural History was not the first to describe the red panda, but he was the first to publish a description of the species, in 1848. He named it Ailurus fulgens for “red shining cat.” The giant panda wasn’t discovered until nearly 50 years later.

4. Red panda habitat and giant panda habitat overlap in Sichuan, China. Otherwise, nearly 50 percent of the red panda’s habitat is in the Eastern Himalayas, including Nepal, Tibet, India, Bhutan, and Myanmar. The giant panda inhabits the six major mountain ranges in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces of China.

GiantPandaEatingBamboo5. The red panda and the giant panda both eat bamboo, and lots of it. The average giant panda eats as much as 20 to 45 lbs (9-20 kg) of bamboo shoots a day. The red panda eats 2 to 4 pounds of bamboo shoots and leaves each day – roughly 20 to 30 percent of their body weight.

6. Both the red panda and the giant panda have an extended wrist bone, engineered to strip bamboo! This is also described as a “false thumb.”

7. The red panda and the giant panda are both endangered species. Both of these adorable animals are struggling to survive while facing enormous pressure imposed by human beings including habitat loss and degradation. Both species now rely on the conservation interventions of humans to ensure their survival.

8. The red panda and the giant panda are both bred in captivity in zoos worldwide, as part of the American Zoo Association’s Species Survival Program. Zoos are performing an invaluable role with this program, to ensure the long-term survival of many species that urgently need to be conserved and protected in the wild. It is a little known fact that the red panda can also be found at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, in China.

9. Both the giant panda and the red panda are hunted and poached for their fur. While poaching of the giant panda has declined considerably due to strict laws and greater public awareness of the panda’s protected status, the red panda is still poached regularly for it’s pelt and for its glorious tail, which is used to decorate hats during wedding ceremonies in the Yunnan province of China.

10. Both of these beautiful creatures have delightful masks that endlessly entertain humans. Could this be Mother Nature’s way of ensuring survival of the species?
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44 Responses

  1. Jake

    This article is horrible!!! All it says is facts about the red panda and barely anything on the giant panda! I was trying to use this article for a school research paper and was thoroughly disappointed!

  2. Jacqueline

    Great article! I used it for my project because I was having trouble finding a site for giant and red pandas. This was a big help.. Save the red and giant panda!!! Great job

  3. Emily

    Nobody read this artical about RED pandas!! What about giant pandas! It hardly vs when there is no info about the giant panda.

  4. Pingback : International Red Panda Day | vsomethingspeaks

  5. bob_rocks

    I don’t like to eat tacos that much, but I love shaving my beard. Back to this site, it is ok. it doesn’t have a Chick-fil-a menu, which I was hoping for, but it does have a Glory Days menu! That’s exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. hannah

    This is really useful I’m doing a speech on why we should protect endangered animals and it really helps, because there is a part about Red Pandas AND Giant Pandas in the same paragraph THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  7. Saamia

    To everyone saying this article doesn’t say enough about giant pandas… the site is called RED LANDA NETWORK. On the Internet in general there are many more resources on giant pandas than red pandas. This article is good, I thought.

  8. Sam

    honestly this article is really not very helpful. No 2 doesn’t seem correct; no 10 is useless. No 3 is funny – what is “original”? It is just the people in the west discover the giant pandas 50 years later than the red pandas doesn’t mean that red pandas are the “original”. Who can be “original”? It’s not a fact at all.

    Out of the 10 “facts” only 6 or 7 can help a little bit, but still very general and unsurprising. not informative and educative enough. How long did the writer spent to write this article – 5 minutes?

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  10. Pingback : Five Amazing Things About Pandas, In Honor of Basi, Who Died This Week | Almost Interesting

  11. Pingback : The Rise of the Red Panda – The Kingdom Has Come

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