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The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is universally admired for its appealing markings and seemingly gentle demeanour. A member of the bear family, the giant panda is a robust animal with heavy shoulders and a distinctive black and white coat. Most of the body and belly of the giant panda are white, contrasting sharply with the black ears, black limbs and shoulders, and black patches over the eyes. The male giant panda is slightly larger and heavier than the female. The giant panda has a relatively large head and large, muscular jaws, while its molars and premolar teeth are wider and flatter than those of other bears, allowing it to grind bamboo. This species is also unusual in having a ‘thumb’, which is actually a modified wrist bone that enables the giant panda to dexterously grasp bamboo stalks.

Giant Panda Subspecies



See Also