Red Panda, scientifically cited as Ailurus fulgens, is a distant cousin of the black-and-white giant panda and is found in the rocks of Nepal, Myanmar, and central China. Popularly called Fire fox in English, this shy creature basically lives on trees and sleep aloft. These arboreal mammals are most active during the night and during the fall of dusk and dawn. Red pandas have a taste for bamboo, but they have a penchant for other foods too like fruit, acorns, roots, and eggs. The red panda has often been linked to giant panda, while some others have traced its taxonomy to raccoons. These adorable mammals, however, are increasingly facing the fear of extinction. The biggest threat to their existence is the shrinking space, as their natural habitat is constantly being uprooted for agriculture and commercial purpose. These bright colored pandas are being extensively hunted for their rich fur, which has further led to their extinction over the years. To know more on this interesting variety of red pandas, read on.
Facts About Red Panda
Length: 21.59 cm
Weight: 7 to 14 pounds
Age of Sexual Maturity: 2-3 years
Gestation Period: 112-158 days
Number of Offspring: One to Four
Interesting & Amazing Information On Red Panda
- The Chinese name of the red panda is xi¨£o xióng m¨¡o, which means 'small panda'. The red panda is also sometimes known as h¨³o hú, which literally translates as "fire fox”. The name has been primarily given them due to their color and size which is similar to a fox. The web browser “Firefox” is named after the animal.
- The first acknowledged written account of the red panda goes back to the 13th-century during Chou dynasty scroll. Red panda was presented to Europeans by Thomas Hardwicke in 1821, who called it ‘Wah’ and gave the little animal its local identify as ‘poonya’, which was eventually anglicized to ‘panda’.
- The name ‘Panda’ is the Nepalese word for red panda, ‘Nigalya poonya’, which means ‘eater of bamboo’.
- A female red panda can eat approximately 200,000 bamboo leaves in one day, spending as much as 16 hours on eating.
- Red panda is about the size of a raccoon and weighs 7 to 14 pounds. It is about 20 to 26 inches in length, with its tail an additional 12 to 20 inches.
- A red panda is known by many names, the few popular ones being bear-cat, bright panda, cat-bear, fire fox, lesser panda, petit panda and its aboriginal name poonya.
- Red pandas’ unique red and black fur acts a disguise for the animal, protecting them from the marauders. The red fur on the back is exactly the same color as moss found on the trees where they live, making it difficult for their predators to track them. The black on their stomach makes it difficult to see them from below.
- You will find it interesting to know that red pandas have partially retractable claws. Like giant pandas, red pandas have an extra ‘thumb’, which is simply an enlarged bone for grabbing bamboo stems.
- While the male panda is referred to as a boar or he-bear, the female is called sow or she-bear. The offspring, or a baby Panda, is referred to as a cub.
- Red Panda is the state animal in the Indian state of Sikkim.