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The Red Panda
Transcript of The Red Panda
Where does the red panda live?
The Red Panda lives in the mountains of Nepal and the mountains Northern Myanmar (Burma). They can also be found in Central China.
What is the red panda's niche in their habitat?
The red panda spends most of its time in the branches, where it lives on bamboo shoots and leaves, berries, flowers and the occasional egg or insect. Bamboo makes up most of the red panda's diet, but because the omnivore can’t fully digest bamboo fiber, a large part of its day is spent sleeping, to save its energy, or searching for food while awake.
What structural adaptations does the red panda have to make it successful in its niche?
They have an enlarged wrist bone located on each front paw, which serves as a"thumb." This "thumb" is useful for feeding because it allows the pandas to grasp and hold bamboo tightly. Red pandas also have large tails which are often used as a pillow and prevent heat loss. Also they have a small body mass. Their small body mass allows them to walk on thin branches. Red pandas are incredible climbers so they have strong, curved claws which help them.
What behavioral adaptations does the red panda have to make it successful in its niche?
-Red pandas are solitary animals. Except during the mating season, they prefer to be alone on tree branches or in large tree hollows.
-They sleep stretched out on tree branches with legs dangling during summer, and curl themselves covering their faces with their tails during winter.
-They only feed at night and in late afternoon so they are not competing with other animals who feed on the same food. Hence, they are called nocturnal animals and are also known as crepuscular animals, animals that are primarily active from twilight on.
What time of year is mating season for the red panda?
Red Pandas begin their mating season in fall through winter.
How long does the mother red panda carry the babies before baby is born?
The red panda has a gestation period of about 4 months
How many babies are usually born?
The average litter size for the red panda is 1-4 cubs
What time of the year are red panda cubs born?
The new born red pandas would be born between late spring and summer
Do the male red pandas help raise the young?
Very rarely do the male red pandas help raise their young. However, if the red pandas live in pairs, or in small groups, the males will help raise their young.
How long do the young cubs stay with their parents before they go off on their own?
For red pandas, adulthood is reached at the age of 16 to 18 months, meaning the cubs are able to leave without any more adult supervision. At 18 months, both the male and female red pandas are fully ready to mate and reproduce themselves, beginning in the fall and winter months.
How long is the time between young cubs being born?
In the case of Red Pandas, new batches of Young are born every year. As already mentioned, the mating season usually begins in winter, and the babies are born in summer. The process repeats every year.
Are there any unique and rare variations in genetics/form of the red panda? What causes this rare form of your animal? List all of the rare forms that you can find.
There are two types of red pandas. There is the Western red panda, and the Styan’s red panda. Styan red pandas are bigger, and darker in color than the Western red panda. However, in some cases, the red panda’s fur can be yellowish brown, or brown instead of the traditional red color. There are no really ‘rare’ forms of red pandas, besides the red pandas that do not appear red. The pandas vary because of where they live, so the red panda's that are brownish have become accustomed to their living conditions.
What are the closest relatives to the red panda? How can you tell that they are related?
The closest relative to the red panda is the raccoon. Their body shape is very similar, and they share a similar ringed tail. The red panda is also in close relations to the giant panda. Just like the giant pandas, an extended wrist bone that functions almost like a thumb lingers on their hands. They are also related to weasels, and lemurs, with a similar body shape.
What is the closest prehistoric relative to the red panda?
The Carnivora (a small cat) is the closest prehistoric relative to the Red Panda.
What animal is the red panda descended from?
The Carnivora is the most ancient relative of the red panda that could be found at the moment.
The red panda 'family tree'.
What kind of breeding programs do zoos have in place for the red panda?
An exchange to keep the bloodline normal, and to keep from inbreeding the animals.
A baby red panda from a zoo in Germany
Any news on programs or zoo exchanges?
An exchange is taking place for red pandas between the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park and the zoos in Australia and New Zealand to improve the bloodline in the Darjeeling zoo captive breeding programme.
How do they choose which animals that the zoo’s animals will be bred with?
Animals that are not related, and animals that are healthy are usually chosen to be bred with because the offspring red pandas will be healthy, and be able to breed as well. Also, the red pandas may get released back into the wild once they are breeded and accustomed to ‘being wild’.
Why do zoos exchange animals for breeding programs?
To improve the bloodline, and to make sure inbreeding does not take place.
How do they choose which animals that the zoo’s animals will be bred with?
Animals that are not related, and animals that are healthy are usually chosen to be bred with because the offspring red pandas will be healthy, and be able to breed as well. Also, the red pandas may get released back into the wild once they are have been bred and accustomed to ‘being wild’. However, the pandas in the exhibit will stay as far away from each other as possible unless it is mating season.
How does your animal choose their mate in the wild?
The red pandas will growl at each other, however, if another male is around, they will fight for the female, sometimes to the death.
Does the red panda have a special mating call? Do the males have to put on a special display?
The red panda growls as their special mating call. The males do have to put on a special display if there are other male red pandas around, which can include a fight to the death.
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By: Emily, Grace and Andie