Giant Pandas: Not Just Black and White
by Amy X Portillo, age 9
The Giant Panda is a beautiful bear that only lives in Xifan Mountains in Sichuan, China. It is very rare and is an endangered species.
Giant pandas have unique physical features. They have black and white fur with black circles around their eyes. The bears grow to be four to five feet tall, and weigh between 220 and 275 pounds.
These animals live interesting lifestyles in many climates including semi-tropical bamboo forests and snowy mountains. Giant pandas live for up to 25 to 30 years.
Giant pandas are not like other bears. Unlike grizzly bears, they do not hibernate. Grizzlies eat salmon, nuts, and berries, while giant pandas have a strict diet of only bamboo. Giant pandas used to be considered part of the raccoon family. But zoologists now place them in the bear family. They even have their own sub family, called ailaropodiae. Most pandas live in zoos or in wild life reserves.
[Source: The Encyclopedia of Animals]