This one is so cute how could you not LIKE it?
Giant pandas are bears that are native to China, where they are considered a national treasure. Despite their exalted status, giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) populations are vulnerable: fewer than 1,900 live in the wild, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo. About 300 live in zoos around the world.
Size, habitat and diet
For many years, scientists wondered whether pandas were a type of bear, raccoon or something all their own. But plenty of genetic studies have made it clear that pandas are a type of bear, according to the San Diego Zoo.
Also called great pandas, parti-colored bears, bamboo bears and white bears, giant pandas are distinguished from other pandas by their large size and black-and-white coloring. Their bold coloring provides camouflage — giant pandas are nearly invisible in dense patches of bamboo, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo.
Giant pandas grow to be 27 to 32 inches (70 - 80 centimeters) tall at the shoulder, 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) long and can weigh up to 275 lbs. (125 kilograms), according to the San Diego Zoo Their size is about the same as an American black bear. By comparison, the giant panda's distant relative, the red panda, is only 20 to 26 inches (50 to 65 cm) tall and weighs 10 to 20 lbs. (4.5 to 9 kg).
In the wild, giant pandas are only found in the remote, mountainous regions of central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, according to the National Zoo. In this area, between 5,000 and 10,000 feet elevation (1,524 - 3,048 m), are the cool, wet bamboo forests that giant panda's call home. The large bears make their dens from hollowed-out logs or stumps of conifer trees found within the forest.
A giant panda's appetite for bamboo is insatiable. They eat bamboo 12 hours a day, which adds up to 28 lbs. (12.5 kg) of bamboo each day, according to National Geographic. Giant pandas have a special bone that extends from their wrists called a "pseudo-thumb," according to the San Diego Zoo. They use their pseudo-thumb to hold and manipulate the bamboo.