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Red panda




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Lesser panda or red panda (Latin Ailurus fulgens.) – Mammal (Latin Mammalia.) From the family ailuridae (Latin Ailuridae.) Order Carnivora (Latin Carnivora.).
Name and origin
For an unusual look of the red panda is often called “fire cat” or “cat-bear”.
Fossil remains of the red pandas were found in the area from east to west of China and Great Britain. Archaeologists have found the remains of the Lesser pandas even in North America (in the states of Tennessee and Washington), and suggest that this could be a new subspecies of red panda, who lived in the Miocene.
The first mention of the cat-bear recorded in China in the eighth century. However, European researchers have met with these animals only eleven centuries (in the XIX century.) For the first time I saw him in 1821, British general and naturalist Thomas Hardwick. He proposed to call this animal the word “XXa” based on simulation published beast sounds, although the Chinese called him punya, which happened modern panda.
Latin name – Ailurus fulgens «shining cat” this animal gave the French naturalist Frederick Cuvier.
The taxonomic position of the small panda has long been unclear. She attributed the raccoon family, then to the bear, then isolated in a separate family. However, recent genetic studies have shown that a small panda forms malopandovyh own family.
Appearance
Lesser panda can be called one of the nicest animals of the Earth. It is worth noting that the representative of the family ailuridae more like a raccoon than its relative – the giant panda.
Although small panda moves like a bear on all fours, bending his front paws inside, in fact it is closer to the raccoon than a normal panda.
The length of the small panda reaches 56-63 cm. Tail length 37-47 cm. Weight 4 to 6 kg.
The body of the small panda long.
Muzzle short.
Feet strong and strong with sharp claws. Forefeet small panda differ elongated pads, which call on the heel and first finger, which uses a red panda climbing bamboo and capture.
Claws help the beast to climb trees. Unlike his other cousins, red panda can partially retract their sharp weapon.
Eyes black, almost pitch.
The teeth and jaws are small panda is ideally suited for eating bamboo. She has broad teeth and strong jaw muscles, due to which the head seems a bit more than in other mammals of similar size.
The fur is long and soft. Due to the thick fur body it seems thicker than it is.
Wool cover and color
Color in an unusual beast.
On the upper part of the body it has a reddish-brown color.
Abdomen dark or black.
The feet are black.
The ears are pointy and covered with white fur.
The front part of the muzzle and white except the black tip of the nose.
Under the eyes are dark stripes, with each animal are strictly individual.
On the soles of the paws grows thick fur.
The tail of the panda is very long and fluffy, the same color as the back, but did not meet the monochrome stripes of lighter shade.
Behaviour and Lifestyle
The main areas of habitats of small pandas are at an altitude of 2,200 to 4,800 meters above sea level. Temperature conditions in this case from 10 ° to 25 ° C. Lesser panda prefers mixed coniferous and deciduous forests with lots of old trees and dense thickets of bamboo.
Lives small panda most of his life in solitude. Only in the mating season, males with females forming pairs. Each animal has its own territory.
Animal activity late at night and early in the morning. Day prefers to sleep in hollows or on the branches of trees. At the same time it folds up and closes face fluffy tail, which is reminiscent of a fox. Upon waking, red pandas clean wool like cats licking their front paws and then rubbing their back, stomach and sides.
On hot sunny days, the animal is drawn on a branch and hung feet down. To heat a small panda is very sensitive. The maximum temperature for her 25 ° C. For higher ambient temperatures beast may die.
Lesser panda, as a rule, can not be heard. The animals communicate with each other by setting the different sounds that resemble the chirping, chirping or whistling. Small panda trying to air the language, and an indentation in the mouth, allowing them to analyze the chemical composition of atmospheric vapor and smell the scent of danger.
Food
Power to 75% consists of bamboo. In addition to his animal eats fungi, plant roots, a variety of herbs, lichens, acorns, berries. Do not hesitate to take fish and insects.
Beast great climbs trees and rocks. For it is not a big problem to get to the birds’ eggs. Their small panda eats with gusto. On the day it is necessary to 4 kg of vegetable food. Therefore, most of the day the animal is fed, and all the rest of the time sleeping.
reproduction
Occasionally small panda form a solid couple. Most of these animals live singly.
The courtship period in small panda is held in January and February. Sometimes it captures the beginning of March.
Pregnancy lasts for 4-5 months. Before the birth of a baby female prepares a nest. she arranges it in the hollow of a tree, if there is such, that in the crevice between the rocks. The bottom of the carpets the grass and leaves.
In the light there is from 1 to 4 (rarely) cubs. They are blind and deaf. Each weighs between 110 and 130 grams. The father does not participate in the upbringing of offspring, unless it is paired with a young mother.
The eyes of newborns are opened at the end of 3 weeks. Milk panda feeding their babies over 3 months. From start to leave the nest babies 3 months after birth.
Puberty comes in a half year, but small adult panda becomes in 2 times in 3 years. With a mother younger generation lives a year, until the new litter born.
Enemies and life expectancy
In this type, there are three of the enemy. The first and most dangerous – man. As well as the natural enemies – the snow leopard and civet.
In case of threat to the animal tries to escape. For this, he gets on a rock or a tree. If you have nowhere to flee, the animal gets up on his hind legs and paws protected topped with sharp claws.
Living small panda 9-12 years. Registered long-liver is an animal born and lived in a US zoo for 19 years.
Distribution and subspecies
It inhabits a small panda in the southern and western Tibet, in the Indian states of Assam and Sikkim, in the territory of Bhutan, the northern mountainous part of Burma, in the south-western areas of China – it’s Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. He lives as a beast in Nepal, but to meet him there may be very rare. The highest density of habitat in the forests of the temperate zone of the Himalayas. Habitat is not a single area. He divided the territories in which the small panda is not at all.
Scientists divide the form into two subspecies – the Western and the small little panda Stayana.
They differ mainly saturation coat color and habitats. The first inhabited the territory of Nepal and Bhutan, the second – China and Myanmar.
Status and conservation
The exact number of small pandas today is not defined. Approximately in the wild lives of 3 to 5 thousand of these animals.
Lesser panda was on the verge of extinction due to a decrease in forest area – its natural habitat, the invasion of people. The number of small pandas is also reduced as a result of other people’s actions, such as logging, trapping, hunting, and even military action in panda habitats.
All people living in the territories, inhabited by a small panda, apparently, actively pursue it because of the beautiful fur, which is used to make hats and clothing by the local population. In Yunnan province of hats fur small panda Suite considered the mascot of a happy family life. Lesser panda – a symbol of the International Tea Festival in Darjeeling.
Kind is brought in the International Red Book and is considered endangered.
International Day for the red panda is celebrated on 21 September.
Content in captivity
The peace-loving fun red panda survives well in captivity. Several hundred of these animals now kept in 85 zoos in the world, much to the delight of visitors. Lesser panda is mainly crepuscular lifestyle, and in the afternoon sleeping in a hollow. And those who are lucky enough to watch over her, happy to do it for hours on end. It perfectly reproduces in captivity, which slightly reduces the concern of zoologists disappearance of species.
In some areas of Nepal and India, the red panda was kept as a pet.
Interesting Facts
In China, because of the color and the similarity in size to a fox red panda called hunho -, it is the phrase used Mozilla company “fire fox”, calling their browser «Mozilla Firefox».

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