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Red Panda Evolution
Transcript of Red Panda Evolution
Earliest Ancestors of the Red Panda
The Red Panda's ancestors are thought to have existed 42 to 3 mya (million years ag0). Both species of panda (common black and white one and this red one) share a common ancestors. They earliest known ancestor is K. beatrix. It looks like a panda with black and white fur, but pandas and red pandas are related, so they share this common ancestor.
Intermediate Ancestors (Modern)
The red panda's intermediate ancestors are called Parailurus and Ailurus. The Parailurus fossils have been found in Europe and North America. The Ailurus can be found in today's red panda's modern environment.
Modern vs. Ancestral
The red panda has it's red bushy tail, like a racoon tail, that they use it to balance while climbing and use it to keep warm during the winter seasons.
Has teeth that are carnivorous but eat bamboo thus adapting their teeth to their diet.
Their paws have a woolen coat that reduces heat loss and gets a better grip while climbing.
They have sharp, semi-rectratable claws that help them climb, When they climb downwards they could rotate their ankles for better manuverability.
They have forepaws that support them while eating bamboo.
They also have an extra bone on their inner paw that help with climbing and eating.
Evolution to Present
"Its ancestor can be traced back to tens of millions of years ago with a wide distribution across Eurasia."
The red panda is indigenous to Asia, more specifically to the mountainous region of the Himalayas in India, and the Qingling Mountains in the Shaanxi Province in China. The red panda, though better adapted to the mountains, could be spotted anywhere in China, India, Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Burma, Bhutan, Yunnan
We predict the red panda will continue to decline in numbers, but we can still try and save them. Their decrease is due to a number of factors like predators, poaching, and deforestation. We don't know, but we'd like to believe that everything will go for the better.
How can we save them?
1. Combat Global Warming
2. Ecological integrity of South Asia
3. Make a law to prevent poaching (it will be illegal after the law is passed)
4. Prevent deforestation
Currently, there are various organizations where you can donate money to save the endangered red pandas.
Jazmine: Any animal that's endangered should be saved. The animal we've chosen is the Red Panda. It's sad that this cute little animal can fully disappear in a matter of time. But there are many people that care about the red panda, and there are many organization we can support.
Jaimmy: My personal opinion towards the red panda is that they should be saved for many reasons not just for there appearance but what they contribute to our world and help it make it better. For instance, we should save it because they are an ambassador for clean air and water. They are like HUMAN LUNGS! We should save them because we shouldn't let another of our valuable animal go extinct. We should do more for it because we can and will.
Octavio: My personal opinion about this that we as humans are failing at our job given to us by Mother Nature. We have the potential to save the life of those animals yet we choose to let them die anyways. This is very upsetting and I want some action to be done.
Very Red Indeed
The red panda is going extinct because of lost of habitat, and cash cropping, which leads to increase of food supplies. People use their trees (their homes) for timber and medical poached by people and hunted by leopards. Fodder, Firewood, timber, and hunting are also affecting the red pandas.
Modern vs. Ancestral
The red panda's ancestors are thought to be shared by other animals such as raccoons, modern day pandas, skunks, and bears.
Compared to today's red panda, the ancestral form had a smaller head and looked more like a dog. The Ailurus is actually today's modern panda; it's another name for the species.
This gives further proof that the red pandas evolution was based on their environment of Eurasia. Also, since Eurasia has much dense forests, the red panda evolved to further help it's survival and get to the food source that they could easily gain access to without competition. At some point the Red Panada developed it's paws to help it climb forests easier and at another point it developed that extra "thumb" to help it gain further access to one of it's food sources.