Red pandas are very interesting little creatures. Despite having the same names, red pandas are quite different from their distant cousins, the giant panda bears. Contrary to what most people would think, the red pandas are not just a colored version of the big black and white pandas. And red pandas are not merely a smaller species of the giant pandas. There is a lot more to know about our furry little red friends. Read on for more interesting facts about red pandas.
Red pandas look very different from their distant relatives, the giant pandas. These red pandas look much more like raccoons and foxes. In fact, they look like a combination of a raccoon and a fox. They share the same ringed tails with the raccoons and similar markings in their faces. The only obvious difference between them is that red pandas are red.
Red pandas and raccoons are about the same size as well. They are only slightly larger than the average house cat with a length of 20 to 26 inches. However, if you include measuring the tail, it would add another 12 to 20 inches in length.
Their tails have a lot of functions. Red pandas use their tails to wrap around their bodies to keep them warm. The tails also help them in keeping their balance as they climb trees.
Even though they look quite different from the black and white pandas, red pandas still share some qualities with the giant panda bears. Red pandas love bamboos too, just like their bigger relatives. But red pandas eat a wider variety of food. They also eat fruits, roots, acorns, and eggs. Red pandas also share another characteristic with giant pandas. Both pandas have extended wrist bones that act as thumbs. This added quality enhances their grip.
Another quality they share with the black and whites is their habitat. The two pandas are native to the northeastern region of Asia. Both pandas live mostly in China. However, red pandas are also seen in the mountains of Myanmar (Burma) and Nepal. Some have even reached northern India. Red pandas live in chilly mountain forests and spend most of their time high up in the trees.
Red pandas are shy and solitary creatures. They live most of their life alone. They only come together during mating season. The females give birth during spring and summer to an average of 1 to 4 babies. The mothers tend to their offspring for about 90 days. The males, however, take no interest to their children and leave once mating is over.
Below are some fun facts on red pandas:
• They like cool and dark places.
• Red pandas are most active at night. They forage for food from dusk to dawn.
• Red pandas have other names: firefox, bear-cat, bright panda, lesser panda, cat-bear, poonya, and petit panda.
• Their average lifespan in the wild is 8 years.
There are so much more to learn about these furry little creatures. However, a sad fact about them is they are endangered. Due to logging and deforestation, the wide habitat of red pandas is becoming smaller and smaller. Soon, red pandas may no longer be solitary animals because of the lack of space. And as their natural habitat is continuously destroyed, the lives of red pandas are incessantly in danger.