|Giant panda at the Ocean Park Hong Kong|
|Giant panda range|
"Panda" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
|Literal meaning||"bear cat"|
|Alternative Chinese name|
|Literal meaning||"cat bear"|
The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca; Chinese: 大熊猫; pinyin: dà xióng māo), also known as panda bear or simply panda, is a bear native to south central China. It is easily recognized by the large, distinctive black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. The name "giant panda" is sometimes used to distinguish it from the unrelated red panda. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the giant panda is a folivore, with bamboo shoots and leaves making up more than 99% of its diet. Giant pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents, or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food.
The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan, but also in neighbouring Shaanxi and Gansu. As a result of farming, deforestation, and other development, the giant panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived.
The giant panda is a conservation-reliant vulnerable species. A 2007 report showed 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. As of December 2014, 49 giant pandas lived in captivity outside China, living in 18 zoos in 13 different countries. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of giant pandas in the wild is on the rise. In March 2015, conservation news site Mongabay stated that the wild giant panda population had increased by 268, or 16.8%, to 1,864. In 2016, the IUCN reclassified the species from "endangered" to "vulnerable".
While the dragon has often served as China's national symbol, internationally the giant panda has often filled this role. As such, it is becoming widely used within China in international contexts, for example, appearing since 1982 on gold panda bullion coins and as one of the five Fuwa mascots of the Beijing Olympics.
- 1 Taxonomy
- 2 Description
- 3 Ecology
- 4 Behavior
- 5 Uses and human interaction
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
For many decades, the precise taxonomic classification of the giant panda was under debate because it shares characteristics with both bears and raccoons. However, molecular studies indicate the giant panda is a true bear, part of the family Ursidae. These studies show it differentiated early (about 19 million years ago) from the main ursine stock; since it is the most basal member of the group, it is equidistant from all other extant ursids. The giant panda has been referred to as a living fossil.
Despite the shared name, habitat type, and diet, as well as a unique enlarged bone called the pseudo thumb (which helps them grip the bamboo shoots they eat) the giant panda and red panda are only distantly related.
The word panda was borrowed into English from French, but no conclusive explanation of the origin of the French word panda has been found. The closest candidate is the Nepali word ponya, possibly referring to the adapted wrist bone of the red panda, which is native to Nepal. The Western world originally applied this name to the red panda.
In many older sources, the name "panda" or "common panda" refers to the lesser-known red panda, thus necessitating the inclusion of "giant" and "lesser/red" prefixes in front of the names. Even in 2013, the Encyclopædia Britannica still used "giant panda" or "panda bear" for the bear, and simply "panda" for the red panda, despite the popular usage of the word "panda" to refer to giant pandas.
Since the earliest collection of Chinese writings, the Chinese language has given the bear 20 different names, such as huāxióng (花熊 "spotted bear") and zhúxióng (竹熊 "bamboo bear"). The most popular names in China today is dàxióngmāo (大熊貓 literally "giant bear cat"), or simply xióngmāo (熊貓 "bear cat"). The name xióngmāo (熊貓 "bear cat") was originally used to describe the red panda (Ailurus fulgens), but since the giant panda was thought to be closely related to the red panda, dàxióngmāo (大熊貓) was named relatively.
In Taiwan, another popular name for panda is the inverted dàmāoxióng (大貓熊 "giant cat bear"), though many encyclopediae and dictionaries in Taiwan still use the "bear cat" form as the correct name. Some linguists argue, in this construction, "bear" instead of "cat" is the base noun, making this name more grammatically and logically correct, which may have led to the popular choice despite official writings. This name did not gain its popularity until 1988, when a private zoo in Tainan painted a sun bear black and white and created the Tainan fake panda incident.
- The nominate subspecies Ailuropoda m. melanoleuca consists of most extant populations of panda. These animals are principally found in Sichuan and display the typical stark black and white contrasting colours.
- The Qinling panda, A. m. qinlingensis is restricted to the Qinling Mountains in Shaanxi at elevations of 1,300–3,000 m. The typical black and white pattern of Sichuan giant pandas is replaced with a dark brown versus light brown pattern. The skull of A. m. qinlingensis is smaller than its relatives, and it has larger molars.
A detailed study of the giant panda's genetic history from 2012 confirms that the separation of the Qinlin population occurred about 300,000 years ago, and reveals that the non-Qinlin population further diverged into two groups, named the Minshan and the Qionglai-Daxiangling-Xiaoxiangling-Liangshan group respectively, about 2,800 years ago.
The giant panda has luxuriant black-and-white fur. Adults measure around 1.2 to 1.9 m (4 to 6 ft) long, including a tail of about 10–15 cm (3.9–5.9 in), and 60 to 90 cm (2.0 to 3.0 ft) tall at the shoulder. Males can weigh up to 160 kg (350 lb). Females (generally 10–20% smaller than males) can weigh as little as 70 kg (150 lb), but can also weigh up to 125 kg (276 lb). Average adult weight is 100 to 115 kg (220 to 254 lb).
The giant panda has a body shape typical of bears. It has black fur on its ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, arms and shoulders. The rest of the animal's coat is white. Although scientists do not know why these unusual bears are black and white, speculation suggests that the bold colouring provides effective camouflage in their shade-dappled snowy and rocky habitat. The giant panda's thick, wooly coat keeps it warm in the cool forests of its habitat. The panda's skull shape is typical of durophagous carnivorans. It has evolved from previous ancestors to exhibit larger molars with increased complexity and expanded temporal fossa. A 110.45 kg (243.5 lb) giant panda has a 3D canine teeth bite force of 2603.47 newtons and bite force quotient of 292. Another study had a 117.5 kg (259 lb) giant panda bite of 1298.9 newtons (BFQ 151.4) at canine teeth and 1815.9 newtons (BFQ 141.8) at carnassial teeth.
The giant panda's paw has a "thumb" and five fingers; the "thumb" – actually a modified sesamoid bone – helps it to hold bamboo while eating. Stephen Jay Gould discusses this feature in his book of essays on evolution and biology, The Panda's Thumb.
The giant panda typically lives around 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity. A female named Jia Jia was the oldest giant panda ever in captivity, born in 1978 and died at an age of 38 on 16 October 2016.
A seven-year-old female named Jin Yi died in 2014 in a zoo in Zhengzhou, China, after showing symptoms of gastroenteritis and respiratory disease. It was found that the cause of death was toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii and infecting most warm-blooded animals, including humans.
Despite its taxonomic classification as a carnivoran, the giant panda's diet is primarily herbivorous, consisting almost exclusively of bamboo. However, the giant panda still has the digestive system of a carnivore, as well as carnivore-specific genes, and thus derives little energy and little protein from consumption of bamboo. Its ability to digest cellulose is ascribed to the microbes in its gut. Pandas are born with sterile intestines and require bacteria obtained from their mother's feces to digest vegetation. The giant panda is a highly specialised animal with unique adaptations, and has lived in bamboo forests for millions of years.
The average giant panda eats as much as 9 to 14 kg (20 to 30 lb) of bamboo shoots a day to compensate for the limited energy content of its diet. Ingestion of such a large quantity of material is possible because of the rapid passage of large amounts of indigestible plant material through the short, straight digestive tract. It is also noted, however, that such rapid passage of digesta limits the potential of microbial digestion in the gastrointestinal tract, limiting alternative forms of digestion. Given this voluminous diet, the giant panda defecates up to 40 times a day. The limited energy input imposed on it by its diet has affected the panda's behavior. The giant panda tends to limit its social interactions and avoids steeply sloping terrain to limit its energy expenditures.
Two of the panda's most distinctive features, its large size and round face, are adaptations to its bamboo diet. Anthropologist Russell Ciochon observed: "[much] like the vegetarian gorilla, the low body surface area to body volume [of the giant panda] is indicative of a lower metabolic rate. This lower metabolic rate and a more sedentary lifestyle allows the giant panda to subsist on nutrient poor resources such as bamboo." Similarly, the giant panda's round face is the result of powerful jaw muscles, which attach from the top of the head to the jaw. Large molars crush and grind fibrous plant material.
The morphological characteristics of extinct relatives of the giant panda suggest that while the ancient giant panda was omnivorous 7 million years ago (mya), it only became herbivorous some 2-2.4 mya with the emergence of A. microta. Genome sequencing of the giant panda suggests that the dietary switch could have initiated from the loss of the sole T1R1/T1R3 umami taste receptor, resulting from two frameshift mutations within the T1R1 exons. Umami taste corresponds to high levels of glutamate as found in meat and may have thus altered the food choice of the giant panda. Although the pseudogenisation of the umami taste receptor in Ailuropoda coincides with the dietary switch to herbivory, it is likely a result of, and not the reason for, the dietary change. The mutation time for the T1R1 gene in the giant panda is estimated to 4.2 mya while fossil evidence indicates bamboo consumption in the giant panda species at least 7 mya, signifying that although complete herbivory occurred around 2 mya, the dietary switch was initiated prior to T1R1 loss-of-function.
Pandas eat any of 25 bamboo species in the wild, such as Fargesia dracocephala and Fargesia rufa. Only a few bamboo species are widespread at the high altitudes pandas now inhabit. Bamboo leaves contain the highest protein levels; stems have less.
Because of the synchronous flowering, death, and regeneration of all bamboo within a species, the giant panda must have at least two different species available in its range to avoid starvation. While primarily herbivorous, the giant panda still retains decidedly ursine teeth and will eat meat, fish, and eggs when available. In captivity, zoos typically maintain the giant panda's bamboo diet, though some will provide specially formulated biscuits or other dietary supplements.
Pandas will travel between different habitats if they need to, so they can get the nutrients that they need and to balance their diet for reproduction. For six years, scientists studied six pandas tagged with GPS collars at the Foping Reserve in the Qinling Mountains. They took note of their foraging and mating habits and analyzed samples of their food and feces. The pandas would move from the valleys into the Qinling Mountains and would only return to the valleys in autumn. During the summer months bamboo shoots rich in protein are only available at higher altitudes which causes low calcium rates in the pandas and during breeding season the pandas would trek back down to eat bamboo leaves rich in calcium.
Although adult giant pandas have few natural predators other than humans, young cubs are vulnerable to attacks by snow leopards, yellow-throated martens, eagles, feral dogs, and the Asian black bear. Sub-adults weighing up to 50 kg (110 lb) may be vulnerable to predation by leopards.
The giant panda is a terrestrial animal and primarily spends its life roaming and feeding in the bamboo forests of the Qinling Mountains and in the hilly province of Sichuan. Giant pandas are generally solitary. Each adult has a defined territory and a female is not tolerant of other females in her range. Social encounters occur primarily during the brief breeding season in which pandas in proximity to one another will gather. After mating, the male leaves the female alone to raise the cub.
Pandas were thought to fall into the crepuscular category, those who are active twice a day, at dawn and dusk; however, Jindong Zhang found that pandas may belong to a category all of their own, with activity peaks in the morning, afternoon and midnight. Due to their sheer size, pandas do not need to fear predators like other herbivores. They can therefore be active at any time of the day.
Pandas communicate through vocalisation and scent marking such as clawing trees or spraying urine. They are able to climb and take shelter in hollow trees or rock crevices, but do not establish permanent dens. For this reason, pandas do not hibernate, which is similar to other subtropical mammals, and will instead move to elevations with warmer temperatures. Pandas rely primarily on spatial memory rather than visual memory.
Initially, the primary method of breeding giant pandas in captivity was by artificial insemination, as they seemed to lose their interest in mating once they were captured. This led some scientists to try extreme methods, such as showing them videos of giant pandas mating and giving the males sildenafil (commonly known by name Viagra). Only recently have researchers started having success with captive breeding programs, and they have now determined giant pandas have comparable breeding to some populations of the American black bear, a thriving bear species. The normal reproductive rate is considered to be one young every two years.
Giant pandas reach sexual maturity between the ages of four and eight, and may be reproductive until age 20. The mating season is between March and May, when a female goes into estrus, which lasts for two or three days and only occurs once a year. When mating, the female is in a crouching, head-down position as the male mounts her from behind. Copulation time is short, ranging from 30 seconds to five minutes, but the male may mount her repeatedly to ensure successful fertilisation. The gestation period ranges from 95 to 160 days.
Giant pandas give birth to twins in about half of pregnancies. If twins are born, usually only one survives in the wild. The mother will select the stronger of the cubs, and the weaker cub will die due to starvation. The mother is thought to be unable to produce enough milk for two cubs since she does not store fat. The father has no part in helping raise the cub.
When the cub is first born, it is pink, blind, and toothless, weighing only 90 to 130 grams (3.2 to 4.6 ounces), or about 1/th of the mother's weight, proportionally the smallest baby of any placental mammal. It nurses from its mother's breast six to 14 times a day for up to 30 minutes at a time. For three to four hours, the mother may leave the den to feed, which leaves the cub defenseless. One to two weeks after birth, the cub's skin turns grey where its hair will eventually become black. Slight pink colour may appear on cub's fur, as a result of a chemical reaction between the fur and its mother's saliva. A month after birth, the colour pattern of the cub's fur is fully developed. Its fur is very soft and coarsens with age. The cub begins to crawl at 75 to 80 days; mothers play with their cubs by rolling and wrestling with them. The cubs can eat small quantities of bamboo after six months, though mother's milk remains the primary food source for most of the first year. Giant panda cubs weigh 45 kg (100 pounds) at one year and live with their mothers until they are 18 months to two years old. The interval between births in the wild is generally two years.
In July 2009, Chinese scientists confirmed the birth of the first cub to be successfully conceived through artificial insemination using frozen sperm. The cub was born at 07:41 on 23 July that year in Sichuan as the third cub of You You, an 11-year-old. The technique for freezing the sperm in liquid nitrogen was first developed in 1980 and the first birth was hailed as a solution to the problem of lessening giant panda semen availability, which had led to inbreeding. Panda semen, which can be frozen for decades, could be shared between different zoos to save the species. It is expected that zoos in destinations such as San Diego in the United States and Mexico City will now be able to provide their own semen to inseminate more giant pandas. In August 2014, a rare birth of panda triplets was announced in China; it was the fourth of such births ever reported.
Attempts have also been made to reproduce giant pandas by interspecific pregnancy by implanting cloned panda embryos into the uterus of an animal of another species. This has resulted in panda fetuses, but no live births.
Uses and human interaction
In the past, pandas were thought to be rare and noble creatures – the Empress Dowager Bo was buried with a panda skull in her vault. The grandson of Emperor Taizong of Tang is said to have given Japan two pandas and a sheet of panda skin as a sign of goodwill. Unlike many other animals in Ancient China, pandas were rarely thought to have medical uses. The few known uses include the Sichuan tribal peoples' use of panda urine to melt accidentally swallowed needles, and the use of panda pelts to control menses as described in the Qin Dynasty encyclopedia Erya.
The creature named mo (貘) mentioned in some ancient books has been interpreted as giant panda. The dictionary Shuowen Jiezi (Eastern Han Dynasty) says that the mo, from Shu (Sichuan), is bear-like, but yellow-and-black, although the older Erya describes mo simply as a "white leopard". The interpretation of the legendary fierce creature pixiu (貔貅) as referring to the giant panda is also common.
During the reign of the Yongle Emperor (early 15th century), his relative from Kaifeng sent him a captured zouyu (騶虞), and another zouyu was sighted in Shandong. Zouyu is a legendary "righteous" animal, which, similarly to a qilin, only appears during the rule of a benevolent and sincere monarch. It is said to be fierce as a tiger, but gentle and strictly vegetarian, and described in some books as a white tiger with black spots. Puzzled about the real zoological identity of the creature captured during the Yongle era, J.J.L. Duyvendak exclaims, "Can it possibly have been a Pandah?"
The comparative obscurity of the giant panda throughout most of China's history is illustrated by the fact that, despite there being a number of depictions of bears in Chinese art starting from its most ancient times, and the bamboo being one of the favorite subjects for Chinese painters, there are no known pre-20th-century artistic representations of giant pandas.
The West first learned of the giant panda on 11 March 1869, when the French missionary Armand David received a skin from a hunter. The first Westerner known to have seen a living giant panda is the German zoologist Hugo Weigold, who purchased a cub in 1916. Kermit and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., became the first Westerners to shoot a panda, on an expedition funded by the Field Museum of Natural History in the 1920s. In 1936, Ruth Harkness became the first Westerner to bring back a live giant panda, a cub named Su Lin which went to live at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. In 1938, five giant pandas were sent to London.
Gifts of giant pandas to American and Japanese zoos formed an important part of the diplomacy of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the 1970s, as it marked some of the first cultural exchanges between the PRC and the West. This practice has been termed "panda diplomacy".
By 1984, however, pandas were no longer given as gifts. Instead, the PRC began to offer pandas to other nations only on 10-year loans, under terms including a fee of up to US$1,000,000 per year and a provision that any cubs born during the loan are the property of the PRC. Since 1998, because of a WWF lawsuit, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service only allows a US zoo to import a panda if the zoo can ensure the PRC will channel more than half of its loan fee into conservation efforts for the giant panda and its habitat.
In May 2005, the PRC offered a breeding pair to Taiwan. The issue became embroiled in cross-Strait relations – both over the underlying symbolism, and over technical issues such as whether the transfer would be considered "domestic" or "international", or whether any true conservation purpose would be served by the exchange. A contest in 2006 to name the pandas was held in the mainland, resulting in the politically charged names Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan (from tuanyuan, meaning "reunion", i.e. "reunification"). PRC's offer was initially rejected by Chen Shui-bian, then President of Taiwan. However, when Ma Ying-jeou assumed the presidency in 2008, the offer was accepted, and the pandas arrived in December of that year.
The giant panda is a vulnerable species, threatened by continued habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, and by a very low birthrate, both in the wild and in captivity. Its range is currently confined to a small portion on the western edge of its historical range, which stretched through southern and eastern China, northern Myanmar, and northern Vietnam.
The giant panda has been a target of poaching by locals since ancient times and by foreigners since it was introduced to the West. Starting in the 1930s, foreigners were unable to poach giant pandas in China because of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War, but pandas remained a source of soft furs for the locals. The population boom in China after 1949 created stress on the pandas' habitat and the subsequent famines led to the increased hunting of wildlife, including pandas. During the Cultural Revolution, all studies and conservation activities on the pandas were stopped. After the Chinese economic reform, demand for panda skins from Hong Kong and Japan led to illegal poaching for the black market, acts generally ignored by the local officials at the time.
Though the Wolong National Nature Reserve was set up by the PRC government in 1958 to save the declining panda population, few advances in the conservation of pandas were made, owing to inexperience and insufficient knowledge of ecology. Many believed the best way to save the pandas was to cage them. As a result, pandas were caged at any sign of decline and suffered from terrible conditions. Because of pollution and destruction of their natural habitat, along with segregation caused by caging, reproduction of wild pandas was severely limited. In the 1990s, however, several laws (including gun control and the removal of resident humans from the reserves) helped their chances of survival. With these renewed efforts and improved conservation methods, wild pandas have started to increase in numbers in some areas, though they still are classified as a rare species.
In 2006, scientists reported that the number of pandas living in the wild may have been underestimated at about 1,000. Previous population surveys had used conventional methods to estimate the size of the wild panda population, but using a new method that analyzes DNA from panda droppings, scientists believe the wild population may be as large as 3,000. In 2006, there were 40 panda reserves in China, compared to just 13 reserves in 1998. As the species has been reclassified to "vulnerable" since 2016, the conservation efforts are thought to be working. Furthermore, in response to this reclassification, the State Forestry Administration of China announced that they would not accordingly lower the conservation level for panda, and would instead reinforce the conservation efforts.
The giant panda is among the world's most adored and protected rare animals, and is one of the few in the world whose natural inhabitant status was able to gain a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, located in the southwest province of Sichuan and covering seven natural reserves, were inscribed onto the World Heritage List in 2006.
Not all conservationists agree that the money spent on conserving pandas is well spent. Chris Packham has argued that the breeding of pandas in captivity is "pointless" because "there is not enough habitat left to sustain them". Packham argues that the money spent on pandas would be better spent elsewhere, and has said he would "eat the last panda if I could have all the money we have spent on panda conservation put back on the table for me to do more sensible things with", though he has apologised for upsetting people who like pandas. He said, "The panda is possibly one of the grossest wastes of conservation money in the last half century." However, a 2015 paper found that the giant panda can serve as an umbrella species as the preservation of their habitat also helps other endemic species in China, including 70% of the country's forest birds, 70% of mammals and 31% of amphibians.
In 2012, Earthwatch Institute, a global nonprofit that teams volunteers with scientists to conduct important environmental research, launched a program called "On the Trail of Giant Panda". This program, based in the Wolong National Nature Reserve, allows volunteers to work up close with pandas cared for in captivity, and help them adapt to life in the wild, so that they may breed, and live longer and healthier lives.
Pandas have been kept in zoos as early as the Western Han Dynasty in China, where the writer Sima Xiangru noted that the panda was the most treasured animal in the emperor's garden of exotic animals in the capital Chang'an (present Xi'an). Not until the 1950s were pandas again recorded to have been exhibited in China's zoos.
A 2006 New York Times article outlined the economics of keeping pandas, which costs five times more than keeping the next most expensive animal, an elephant. American zoos generally pay the Chinese government $1 million a year in fees, as part of a typical ten-year contract. San Diego's contract with China was to expire in 2008, but got a five-year extension at about half of the previous yearly cost. The last contract, with the Memphis Zoo in Memphis, Tennessee, ended in 2013.
Reference in medicine
- Swaisgood, R.; Wang, D.; Wei, F. (2016). "Ailuropoda melanoleuca". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T712A45033386. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
- David, Armand (1869). "Voyage en Chine". Bulletin des Nouvelles Archives du Muséum. 5: 13.
- Like the English "giant", the term dà ("large") is technically prefixed to the name "panda" in Chinese, but is not generally in everyday use.
- Scheff, Duncan (2002). Giant Pandas. Animals of the rain forest (illustrated ed.). Heinemann-Raintree Library. p. 7. ISBN 0-7398-5529-8.
- Lindburg, Donald G.; Baragona, Karen (2004). Giant Pandas: Biology and Conservation. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23867-2.
- Quote: "Bamboo forms 99 percent of a panda's diet", "more than 99 percent of their diet is bamboo": p. 63 of Lumpkin & Seidensticker 2007 (as seen in the 2002 edition).
- "Giant Panda". Discovery Communications, LLC. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- "Giant Pandas". National Zoological Park. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- Scheff, Duncan (2002). Giant Pandas. Animals of the rain forest (illustrated ed.). Heinemann-Raintree Library. p. 8. ISBN 0-7398-5529-8.
- "Global Species Programme – Giant panda". World Wildlife Fund. 14 November 2007. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- "Four out of six great apes one step away from extinction – IUCN Red List". 4 September 2016. Archived from the original on 8 September 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- "Number of pandas successfully bred in China down from last year". Xinhua. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- "Panda Zoos Around The World". www.GiantPandaZoo.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2016.
- Briggs, Helen (20 June 2006). "Hope for future of giant panda". BBC News. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
- Warren, Lynne (July 2006). "Pandas, Inc". National Geographic. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
- "Giant panda population rises by nearly 17 percent". Mongabay Environmental News.
- "Giant Panda". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- O'Brien, Nash, Wildt, Bush & Benveniste, A molecular solution to the riddle of the giant panda's phylogeny, Nature Page 317, and pages 140 – 144 (12 September 1985)
- Krause, J.; Unger, T.; Noçon, A.; Malaspinas, A.; Kolokotronis, S.; Stiller, M.; Soibelzon, L.; Spriggs, H.; Dear, P. H.; Briggs, A. W.; Bray, S. C. E.; O'Brien, S. J.; Rabeder, G.; Matheus, P.; Cooper, A.; Slatkin, M.; Pääbo, S.; Hofreiter, M. (2008). "Mitochondrial genomes reveal an explosive radiation of extinct and extant bears near the Miocene-Pliocene boundary". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8 (220): 220. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-220. PMC 2518930. PMID 18662376.
- Yu, Li; Li, Yi-Wei; Ryder, Oliver A.; Zhang, Ya-Ping (2007). "Analysis of complete mitochondrial genome sequences increases phylogenetic resolution of bears (Ursidae), a mammalian family that experienced rapid speciation". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 7 (198): 198. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-198.
- "Behind the News – Panda Granny". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 June 2007. Archived from the original on 4 May 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. panda n. 1.
- "Animal Info – Red Panda".
- "giant panda (mammal) -- Encyclopedia Britannica". Britannica.com. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "panda (mammal, Ailurus species) -- Encyclopedia Britannica". Britannica.com. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Discussion about the Chinese name for giant panda (in Chinese)".
- "Government Information Office will now use dàxióngmāo as the proper name (in Chinese)". 聯合報. 9 August 1990.
- ""bear cat" or "cat bear" (in Chinese)". 聯合報. 29 December 1987.
- Wan, Wu & Fang 2005.
- Hammond, Paula (2010). The Atlas of Endangered Animals: Wildlife Under Threat Around the World. Marshall Cavendish. p. 58. ISBN 0-7614-7872-8.
- Shancen Zhao; Pingping Zheng; Shanshan Dong; Xiangjiang Zhan; Qi Wu (16 December 2012). "Whole-genome sequencing of giant pandas provides insights into demographic history and local adaptation". Nature Genetics. 45 (1): 67–71. doi:10.1038/ng.2494. PMID 23242367. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- "Scientists Discover Evidence of Giant Panda's Population History and Local Adaptation". 16 December 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- Giant Panda Archived 23 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Arkive
- "Physical Description". Giant Panda Species Survival Plan. Archived from the original on 4 December 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- Boitani, Luigi, Simon & Schuster's Guide to Mammals. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone Books (1984), ISBN 978-0-671-42805-1
- Brown, Gary (1996). Great Bear Almanac. p. 340. ISBN 1-55821-474-7.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) (2011).
-  (2011).
- Dudley, Karen (1997). Giant Pandas. Untamed world (illustrated ed.). Weigl Educational Publishers. p. 9. ISBN 0-919879-87-X.
- Ellis, Richard (2004). No turning back: the life and death of animal species (illustrated ed.). HarperCollins. p. 315. ISBN 0-06-055803-2.
- Figueirido, Borja; Zhijie Jack Tseng, Alberto Mart ́ın-Serra (July 2013). "Skull shape evolution in durophagous carnivorans". Evolution; international journal of organic evolution. 67 (7): 1975–93. doi:10.1111/evo.12059. PMID 23815654.
- Stephen Wroe. "Bite forces and evolutionary adaptations to feeding ecology in carnivores (Ecology)". academia.edu.
- Morris, Paul; Susan F. Morris. "The Panda's Thumb". Athro Limited. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- Earth's Changing Environment. Learn & Explore. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2010. p. 49. ISBN 1-61535-339-9.
- "'Oldest' panda in captivity Jia Jia dies at the age of 38". BBC. 16 October 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- Ma, Hongyu; Wang, Zedong; Wang, Chengdong; Li, Caiwu; Wei, Feng; Liu, Quan (2015). "Fatal Toxoplasma gondii infection in the giant panda". Parasite. 22: 30. doi:10.1051/parasite/2015030. ISSN 1776-1042. PMC 4626621. PMID 26514595.
- Li, R.; Fan, W.; Tian, G.; Zhu, H.; He, L.; Cai, J.; Huang, Q.; Cai, Q.; Li, B.; Bai, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Zhang, Y.; Wang, W.; Li, J.; Wei, F.; Li, H.; Jian, M.; Li, J.; Zhang, Z.; Nielsen, R.; Li, D.; Gu, W.; Yang, Z.; Xuan, Z.; Ryder, O. A.; Leung, F. C. C.; Zhou, Y.; Cao, J.; Sun, X.; Fu, Y. (2009). "The sequence and de novo assembly of the giant panda genome". Nature. 463 (7279): 311–317. Bibcode:2010Natur.463..311L. doi:10.1038/nature08696. PMC 3951497. PMID 20010809.
- "(...)indicating that the panda probably has all the necessary components for a carnivorous digestive system." Li R, Fan W, Tian G, Zhu H, He L, Cai J, Huang Q, Cai Q, Li B, Bai Y, Zhang Z, Zhang Y, Wang W, Li J, Wei F, Li H, Jian M, Li J, Zhang Z, Nielsen R, Li D, Gu W, Yang Z, Xuan Z, Ryder OA, Leung FC, Zhou Y, Cao J, Sun X, et al. (2010). "The sequence and de novo assembly of the giant panda genome". Nature. 463 (21): 311–317. Bibcode:2010Natur.463..311L. doi:10.1038/nature08696. PMC 3951497. PMID 20010809.
- "We did not find any homologues of digestive cellulase genes, including endoglucanase, exoglucanase and beta-glucosidase, indicating that the bamboo diet of the panda is unlikely to be dictated by its own genetic composition, and may instead be more dependent on its gut microbiome." Li R, Fan W, Tian G, Zhu H, He L, Cai J, Huang Q, Cai Q, Li B, Bai Y, Zhang Z, Zhang Y, Wang W, Li J, Wei F, Li H, Jian M, Li J, Zhang Z, Nielsen R, Li D, Gu W, Yang Z, Xuan Z, Ryder OA, Leung FC, Zhou Y, Cao J, Sun X, et al. (2010). "The sequence and de novo assembly of the giant panda genome". Nature. 463 (21): 311–317. Bibcode:2010Natur.463..311L. doi:10.1038/nature08696. PMC 3951497. PMID 20010809.
- Zhu L, Wu Q, Dai J, Zhang S, Wei F (17 October 2011). "Evidence of cellulose metabolism by the giant panda gut microbiome". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (43): 17714–17719. Bibcode:2011PNAS..10817714Z. doi:10.1073/pnas.1017956108. PMC 3203778.
- "BBC Nature — Dung eater videos, news and facts". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Giant Panda Facts". nationalzoo.si.edu. National Zoological Park. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Dierenfeld, E. S.; Hintz, H. F.; Robertson, J. B.; Van Soest, P. J.; Oftedal, O. T. (1982). "Utilization of bamboo by the giant panda". Journal of Nutrition. 112 (4): 636–641. PMID 6279804.
- Finley, T. G.; Sikes, Robert S.; Parsons, Jennifer L.; Rude, Brian J.; Bissell, Heidi A.; Ouellette, John R. (2011). "Energy digestibility of giant pandas on bamboo-only and on supplemented diet". Zoo Biology. 30 (2): 121–133. doi:10.1002/zoo.20340. PMID 20814990.
- "Panda tests bring population hope". BBC. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- Ciochon, Russell L.; Eaves-Johnson, K. Lindsay (20 July 2007). "Bamboozled! The Curious Natural History of the Giant Panda Family". Scitizen. Archived from the original on 21 July 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- Jin, C; Ciochon, R. L.; Dong, W; Hunt Jr, R. M.; Liu, J; Jaeger, M; Zhu, Q (2007). "The first skull of the earliest giant panda". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104 (26): 10932–10937. Bibcode:2007PNAS..10410932J. doi:10.1073/pnas.0704198104. PMC 1904166. PMID 17578912.
- Zhao, S; Zheng, P; Dong, S; Zhan, X; Wu, Q; Guo, X; Hu, Y; He, W; Zhang, S; Fan, W; Zhu, L; Li, D; Zhang, X; Chen, Q; Zhang, H; Zhang, Z; Jin, X; Zhang, J; Yang, H; Wang, J; Wang, J; Wei, F (2013). "Whole-genome sequencing of giant pandas provides insights into demographic history and local adaptation". Nature Genetics. 45 (1): 67–71. doi:10.1038/ng.2494. PMID 23242367.
- Li, R; Fan, W; Tian, G; Zhu, H; He, L; Cai, J; Huang, Q; Cai, Q; Li, B; Bai, Y; Zhang, Z; Zhang, Y; Wang, W; Li, J; Wei, F; Li, H; Jian, M; Li, J; Zhang, Z; Nielsen, R; Li, D; Gu, W; Yang, Z; Xuan, Z; Ryder, O. A.; Leung, F. C.; Zhou, Y; Cao, J; Sun, X; et al. (2010). "The sequence and de novo assembly of the giant panda genome". Nature. 463 (7279): 311–317. Bibcode:2010Natur.463..311L. doi:10.1038/nature08696. PMC 3951497. PMID 20010809.
- Jin, K; Xue, Chenyi; Wu, Xiaoli; Qian, Jinyi; Zhu, Yong; Yang, Zhen; Yonezawa, Takahiro; Crabbe, M. James C.; Cao, Ying; Hasegawa, Masami; Zhong, Yang; Zheng, Yufang (2011). "Why does the giant panda eat bamboo? A comparative analysis of appetite-reward-related genes among mammals". PLoS ONE. 6 (7): 22602. Bibcode:2011PLoSO...622602J. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022602. PMC 3144909. PMID 21818345.
- Li, De-Zhu; Guo, Zhenhua; Stapleton, Chris (2007). "Fargesia dracocephala". In Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P.H.; Hong, D.Y. (eds.). Flora of China. 22. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. p. 93.
- Li, De-Zhu; Guo, Zhenhua; Stapleton, Chris (2007). "Fargesia rufa". In Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P.H.; Hong, D.Y. (eds.). Flora of China. 22. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. p. 81.
- Dolberg, Frands (1 August 1992). "Progress in the utilization of urea-ammonia treated crop residues: biological and socio-economic aspects of animal production and application of the technology on small farms". University of Arhus. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Lumpkin & Seidensticker 2007, pp. 63–64 (page numbers as per the 2002 edition)
- "Pandas roam to find better bamboo". Australian Geographic. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
- "Predator of giant panda". WWF.
- Schaller, G.B., Jinchu, H., Wenshi, P., and Jing, Z. (1985). The giant pandas of Wolong. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- "Panda behavior & habitat". World Wildlife Federation China. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
- "Giant Panda". National Zoological Park. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
- Dudley, Karen (1997). Giant Pandas. Untamed world (illustrated ed.). Weigl Educational Publishers. p. 23. ISBN 0-919879-87-X.
- Pandas Live by a Different Rhythm published on 08/07/2015 by Michigan State Univ.
- Paul Massicot (13 February 2007). "Animal Info – Giant Panda". Animal Info. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
- Deborah Smith Bailey (January 2004). "Understanding the giant panda". American Psychological Association.
- "Teenager hospitalized after panda attack in Chinese zoo". Fox News/Associated Press. 23 October 2007. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
- "Panda attacks man in Chinese zoo". BBC News. 22 November 2008.
- "Giant panda in China bites third victim". CNN News. 10 January 2009.
- "Animal Info – Giant Panda". Retrieved 29 May 2009.
- "National Zoo's Giant Panda Undergoes Artificial Insemination". NBC. Associated Press. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- Prapanya, Narunart (25 January 2006). "'Panda porn' to encourage mating". Time Warner. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- "Pandas unexcited by Viagra". BBC News. 9 September 2002. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- "Giant Panda Reproduction" (PDF). National Zoological Park. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- Kleiman, Devra G. "Giant Panda Reproduction". Archived from the original on 7 August 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
- Ruane, Michael E.; Koh, Elizabeth; Weil, Martin (23 August 2015). "National Zoo's giant panda Mei Xiang gives birth to two cubs hours apart". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
- "Panda Facts". Pandas International. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Dudley, Karen (1997). Giant Pandas. Untamed world (Illustrated ed.). Weigl Educational Publishers. p. 26. ISBN 0-919879-87-X.
- Guinness World Records 2013, Page 050, hardcover edition. ISBN 9781904994879
- "Panda Update: September Cub Exam". Discovery Communications, LLC. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "Baby panda born from frozen sperm". BBC. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
- "World's 1st giant panda born from frozen sperm in SW China". Xinhua News Agency. 24 July 2009. Archived from the original on 26 December 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
- "First panda cub born using frozen sperm". The Irish Times. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
- Tran, Tini (24 July 2009). "China announces first panda from frozen sperm". USA TODAY. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- "Rare panda triplets born in China". cbc.ca. 12 August 2014.
- Chen, D. Y.; Wen, D. C.; Zhang, Y. P.; Sun, Q. Y.; Han, Z. M.; Liu, Z. H.; Shi, P.; Li, J. S.; Xiangyu, J. G.; Lian, L.; Kou, Z. H.; Wu, Y. Q.; Chen, Y. C.; Wang, P. Y.; Zhang, H. M. (2002). "Interspecies implantation and mitochondria fate of panda-rabbit cloned embryos". Biology of Reproduction. 67 (2): 637–642. doi:10.1095/biolreprod67.2.637. PMID 12135908.
- Schaller 1993, p. 61
- Shuowen Jiezi, Chapter 10, radical 豸: "貘：似熊而黃黑色，出蜀中" ("Mo: like bear, but yellow-and-black, comes from Shu").
- Erya, Chapter "釋獸" ("About animals"): "貘，白豹" (Mo, white leopard).
- China Giant Panda Museum: Historical Records in Ancient China. Supposed Chinese historical terminology appears in the Chinese version of this article, 我国古代的历史记载 Archived 6 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Duyvendak, J.J.L. (1939). "The True Dates of the Chinese Maritime Expeditions in the Early Fifteenth Century The True Dates of the Chinese Maritime Expeditions in the Early Fifteenth Century". T'oung Pao, Second Series. 34 (5): 402. JSTOR 4527170
- Watson, DA. "The Panda Lady: Ruth Harkness (Part 1)". Female explorers. Retrieved 1 February 2007.
- "Giant Pandas Through Singapore. Rare Animals from Wilds of China. Will be First to Reach Europe in Captivity". Straits Times. 27 November 1938. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- Austin, A. B. (8 January 1939). "How Giant Pandas Arrived in London". Straits Times. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- China's Panda Politics. Newsweek. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2008. Archived 10 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- China sends panda peace offering. The Guardian. 28 December 2008.
- "Panda Poop Might Help Turn Plants Into Fuel". News.nationalgeographic.com. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- Li, Renqiang; Xu, Ming; Wong, Michelle Hang Gi (February 2015). "Climate change threatens giant panda protection in the 21st century". Biological Conservation. 182: 93–101. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2014.11.037.
- The Panda is still endangered species, and the conservation efforts still need to be reinforced State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China (in Chinese)
- Pandas gain world heritage status BBC News
- Panda sanctuaries now World Heritage sites United Press International
- Chris Packham: 'Giant pandas should be allowed to die out'. The Daily Telegraph. 22 September 2009.
- Beyond cute and cuddly Archived 16 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. The Australian. 10 November 2007.
- "TV Packham says sorry for 'ditch pandas' blast". Daily Mirror. UK. 23 September 2009. Archived from the original on 29 December 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
- Pimm, Stuart L.; Li, Binbin V. (2015). "China's endemic vertebrates sheltering under the protective umbrella of the giant panda". Conservation Biology. 30 (2): 329–339. doi:10.1111/cobi.12618.
- "Earthwatch: On the Trail of Giant Panda".
- Schaller pg.62.
- "Giant Panda: Overview". World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- Goodman, Brenda (12 February 2006). "Eats Shoots, Leaves and Much of Zoos' Budgets". The New York Times. Atlanta. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "Zoo negotiates lower price to rent bears from China". SignOnSanDiego.com. 13 December 2008.
- "Animal Info – Giant Panda". www.animalinfo.org. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "China's panda population increases by 17 per cent, major census finds". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Brooks, Melody. "Summary – Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) Fact Sheet, 2001 – ResearchGuides at International Environment Library Consortium". ielc.libguides.com. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "How many are left in the wild?". wwf.panda.org. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Panda Census 2013 | Wild Panda Population Increases to 1,864 | Pandas International". www.pandasinternational.org. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- AFP (via Discovery Channel) (2006, 20 June). Panda Numbers Exceed Expectations.
- Associated Press (via CNN) (2006). Article link.
- Catton, Chris (1990). Pandas. Christopher Helm.
- Friends of the National Zoo (2006). Panda Cam: A Nation Watches Tai Shan the Panda Cub Grow. New York: Fireside Books.
- Goodman, Brenda (2006, 12 February). Pandas Eat Up Much of Zoos' Budgets. The New York Times.
- Lumpkin, Susan; Seidensticker, John (2007). Giant Pandas. London: Collins. ISBN 0-06-120578-8. (An earlier edition is available as The Smithsonian Book of Giant Pandas, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002, ISBN 1-58834-013-9.)
- Panda Facts At a Glance (N.d.). www.wwfchina.org. WWF China.
- Ryder, Joanne (2001). Little panda: The World Welcomes Hua Mei at the San Diego Zoo. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Schaller, George B. (1993). The Last Panda. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-73628-8. (There are also several later reprints)
- Wan, Qiu-Hong; Wu, Hua; Fang, Sheng-Guo (2005). "A New Subspecies of Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) from Shaanxi, China". Journal of Mammalogy. 86 (2): 397–402. doi:10.1644/BRB-226.1. JSTOR 4094359.
- Warren, Lynne (July 2006). "Panda, Inc." National Geographic. (About Mei Xiang, Tai Shan and the Wolong Panda Research Facility in Chengdu China).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
|Wikispecies has information related to Ailuropoda melanoleuca|
- BBC Nature: Giant panda news, and video clips from BBC programmes past and present.
- Panda Pioneer: the release of the first captive-bred panda 'Xiang Xiang' in 2006
- WWF – environmental conservation organization
- Pandas International – panda conservation group
- National Zoo Live Panda Cams – Baby Panda Tai Shan and mother Mei Xiang
- Information from Animal Diversity
- NPR News 2007/08/20 – Panda Romance Stems From Bamboo
- View the panda genome on Ensembl.
- Texts and pictures of the Panda exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin