Pandas are a beautiful species of animal that were once almost extinct but with the help of scientists and caretakers, they are no longer endangered! Ailuropoda melanoleuca (the scientific name for panda) live in the mountain regions of central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu. Pandas live in cold bamboo forests that meet all of their needs to live in the wild. The only food that panda's eat is bamboo because in the mountains in China that is one of the only food resources for them beacuse even though they are carnivores they preffer a herbivore based diet. These mammals eat up to 12 kilograms of bamboo a day for at least 12 hours!

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. The bold coloring may provide camouflage, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo. Giant pandas live up to their name. They are 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) tall and weigh up to 300 lbs. (136 kilograms), according to the National Geographic, about the same as an American black bear. By comparison, their distant relatives, red pandas, are only 20 to 26 inches (50 to 65 cm) tall and weigh 12 to 20 lbs.

The giant panda superficially resembles a bear, but its classification has been disputed; genetic research, however, indicates it is related to the bears, family Ursidae. The body is chiefly white, and the limbs are brownish black, with the dark color extending up over the shoulder. The ears and eye patches are black. Adults weigh from 200 to 300 lb (90140 kg) and are from 4.5 to 5 ft (140150 cm) long with a 5-in. (13-cm) tail. Giant pandas live in restricted areas of the high mountain bamboo forests of central China; their diet consists almost entirely of bamboo shoots. Rare in the wild, they breed poorly in captivity, but using artificial insemination and techniques designed to enable a female panda to raise twins, Chinese scientists have greatly improved the reproduction rate of captive pandas. Giant pandas are protected by law in China.

Panda as a baby.