A STUDY IN BLACK AND WHITE
In Chinese philosophy, the yin and yang are associated with peace, and represent the belief that everything in the universe consists of two forces. The forces are opposing, but complementary. I perceive that as balance, and everything in nature, in it’s natural state, has balance and beauty. The Giant Panda is the epitome of balance in terms of his markings and the way they survive within their habitat.
The Panda lives in central and western China. As of the end of 2014, it was believed that there are less than 2,000 Pandas left in the wild. They are endangered, and their greatest threat is habitat destruction.
The Giant Panda evolved between 2 and 3 million years ago. It is part of the oldest family of bears, and its primitive ancestors date back eight million years. The oldest fossils were found in China.
Pandas will give birth to one or two babies once every two years. The cubs are extremely small, weighing about the same as a mouse, about three and a half ounces. At birth, the dark spots around the eyes are circular, developing a teardrop shape as they grow. Adult male Pandas range in weight from 187 pounds to 275 pounds. The average female weighs between 154 to 220 pounds.
Although the Panda is categorized as a carnivore, its diet mainly consists of bamboo. Bamboo is found in thick patches in the coniferous forests in which the Panda lives. There are populations of Pandas in the mountains of central and western China, and they will move, with seasonal changes, up and down elevations to feed on different types of bamboo. They especially like new shoots of bamboo, as they are tender and nutritious. The average Panda will consume approximately sixty-six pounds of bamboo a day. Its dependence on bamboo makes it extremely vulnerable to habitat loss.
A solitary animal, Pandas maintain their territory by marking it with scent glands and scratches that they leave on trees. Male Pandas have a larger range than females. Typically, the male’s territory will overlap that of several females, in order to maintain breeding rights with them.
Although the Chinese government has created thirty-three reserves for Pandas, they are still considered endangered. More has to be done to ensure that bamboo forests are protected from further destruction.
Enjoy the following video. It’s very interesting, a lot of fun, and informative.
If you’d like to learn more about the Giant Panda, click on any of the following links. Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment, or share the post.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza and The Gift of Sunderland
Middle Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!