Red pandas are extraordinary creatures. From their bushy tails to their habits, they are equipped to survive the harsh, cold weather in the Himalayas.
Red pandas' jaws are strong enough to chew the hard bamboo found in the mountains; they have long canines, but their flat molar teeth are most effective for eating vegetation. This species eats many things including bamboo shoots, acorns, fruits, roots, and grasses. Sometimes, they also eat small rodents, insects, eggs, and nestlings.
Red pandas do not need to eat a lot, however, because they are very small. In fact, they only weigh six and a half to 13.2 lbs. Their body length is 51 to 63 cm.
In captivity, red pandas can live up to 14 years, while their lifespan in the wild is unknown. Their mating season spans January to March, and they reach sexual maturity at 18 to 20 months. Female red pandas can have one to four young, and their gestation period lasts 90 to 145 days.
These cute critters also have many features that help them to survive. For example, red pandas' large ears help them hear well and alert them of nearby predators. They also have woolly soles and retractable claws, making them proficient climbers. Red pandas do not use their bushy tails for grabbing, but for balance when they are climbing. Their dense fur is perfect for surviving extremely cold winters.
Being the skillful and adapted member of Carnivora that they are, red pandas will likely have bright futures in the Himalayas.
[Source: The Encyclopedia of Animals]