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Red Panda

Red Panda


Two mammals in Asia have the name panda, the red panda (lesser panda) and the giant panda.

Classification - The scientific name is Ailurus Fulgens. Red Pandas were classified in the Procyonidae (raccoon) and Ursidae (bear) families but are now classified in their own family called Ailuridae.

Appearance - Red Pandas are slightly larger than a house cat with a big bushy tail that adds 18 inches. Red pandas grow to 1.5 - 2 ft in length by adulthood. They weigh approximately 8 - 12 pounds. Red pandas are similar to raccoons in appearance, with red and black coats. They have long, bushy tails which have alternating cream and red rings on them.

Habitat- The red panda is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda shares the giant panda's rainy, high-altitude forest habitat, but has a wider range. Red pandas live in the mountains of Nepal and northern Myanmar (Burma), as well as in central China. These animals spend most of their lives in trees and even sleep aloft.

Predators - The red panda's diet is very unusual for a mammal and consists mostly of bamboo. When the weather is warm enough, they also eat insects and fruit. Although the giant panda eats almost every part of the bamboo plant (except the roots), the red panda only eats the youngest, most tender shoots and leaves.

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