Pandas are quite an ancient creature. They have been living on this planet for three million years. According to Chinese mythology, pandas are considered a peace symbol across the country. In ancient times, the warriors would raise a flag with a symbol of a panda on it, in order to call a truce with the enemy. Indeed they look calm and easy-going. They are interestingly playful, and super cute. Yet these black and white bear species have many rare and unknown facts which we humans need to discover. Today, we shall look at 10 rare facts about pandas.
1. Pandas are cute, not chubby
Pandas have a round face. Most of us will think that they are fluffy and chubby and soft. But they do not get their shape due to face fat or chubby cheeks. It is their massive cheek muscles that give this look to their face. As a matter of fact, a Giant Panda can chew an aluminum dish with ease. Such is the power of this chubby looking face and jaws.
2. Furry fact, not so furry
Ever touched a panda? No? Ever desired to touch one? Yes? Who would not like to cuddle a soft fluff ball panda cub? But mind you, sometimes appearances can be deceptive. The soft and silky looking panda fur is not so soft after all. It is thick and feels wiry. Wondering if it is spiky? No, not much. Just that you may find 4-inch long panda hairs on your clothes if you ever lift one someday.
3. They eat… and eat a lot
The panda in adulthood can spend around 14 to 16 hours a day feeding on a bamboo stalk. Foodies much, aren’t they? It just does not end here. The panda consumes around 25 to 30 pounds of bamboo in one day. When the season is spring, their appetite takes a plunge, and they might end up consuming 100 pounds a day.
4. Toothy Fast
One of the most interesting facts about the Giant Panda is their teeth count. Giant Pandas have a total of 42 teeth, using which they can peel, split, and eat a bamboo stick within the short time span of 40 seconds! Can you do that?!
5. Diet without diet plan
Panda’s body is meant to digest meat and not bamboos. Yet, their favourite diet is bamboo. Unlike other plant-eating animals like deer who can absorb 80% of nutrients from plants they eat, pandas can absorb only 30% of nutrients, and the rest of the bamboo diet goes undigested. Thus, they must keep eating, all the time they are awake in order to survive.
6. The Pee and Poo tales
Pandas at times are caught doing handstands. And initial research had left the scientists wondered, that they do so in order to mark their scent. Pandas do handstands with support of a tree and pee. This helps them leave their scent higher up above the ground, on a tree or in an area in general. Poo tales? Can’t say much. Just that they like to be regular in their schedule. Pooping 40 times a day is not so much of a great deal. Just around 28 kilos.
7. Embarrassed enough
Just like a grumble of pugs and a kindle of kittens, we have a special name for a group of pandas. A group of pandas is an Embarrassment. No! Not literally, it’s the name. Pandas would surely be embarrassed when they hear this. Though it is rare to find a group of pandas in the wild. Even two pandas can’t be spotted together in the wild as the species turns out to be antisocial. The adult pandas like to spend all their time alone, without any panda company. Though sometimes cubs can be seen enjoying the good company of their siblings.
8. Hibernation is not allowed
Giant Panda bears cannot hibernate. Since Pandas rely on a full bamboo diet, their bodies need to receive constant nutrition. This is because bamboos provide only 30% of absorbable nutrients to a panda’s body. Thus, if they try to hibernate, they shall not be able to eat for days, and will quickly starve to death. Also, Pandas cannot afford much calorie expenses. Thus they prefer lazing around all day long.
9. Panda Patch Skin
The most fascinating and unsolved mysteries attached to pandas is their skin. Interestingly, panda skin under their fur is black under the black patch, and pink under the white patch. It is not known why they have the kind of colour pattern as they have, but many scientists put forward different claims. Some say it is for camouflage, and others say it is to scare away the enemies. I hardly believe that they can scare by their looks. Let alone the fact that they have literally no enemies in their natural habitats.
10. Useless Panda?
Many believe that pandas are useless creatures, typically unsuccessful productions of Mother Nature. Meant to be a carnivorous animal, yet feeding on green vegetation, doing literally nothing all day long except eat, sleep and repeat. To say, they lack any energy to do stuff other than feeding on bamboos which keep them underfed all the while. So much so that they even avoid steep slopes, and playful activates to preserve calories which they shall need to find more bamboo and feed again. No wonder why a group of pandas is called an embarrassment.
Yet, no one can deny the cuteness of this interesting creature. Today there are only around 1000 panda population alive on the planet. Nature Scientists have decided to breed up their population to about 5000 pandas, in order to bring back the balance. These endangered bamboo-eating bears need to be saved; else, our future generations shall only see them in movies, books and pictures.