How much can a Panda bear?

As you’ve no doubt seen on the news, Shin Shin, the 7-year-old Panda brought to Ueno Zoo from China last year, has given birth. This is the first Panda born in Ueno Zoo for 24 years, and it should be regarded as quite an even as it was conceived naturally without artificial insemination.

In honour of the birth, let’s have a look at a few interesting facts about Pandas, as they truly are one of the most intriguing creatures on our planet.

1. The first thing of interest is the name “panda”. The etymology of the name appears obscure, with the best guess being that the name was derived from the Nepali word “ponya” (which refers to its strange thumb and wrist structure). In Chinese, as in Japanese, the name given to the Panda means “large bear cat”, due to it having cat-like vertical pupils rather than round pupils like other bear species.

2. A second feature is its diet. The Panda have reached the brink of extinction due to the destruction of the bamboo forests which provide it main source of food. However, the digestive system of the Panda is not designed for a diet of bamboo and it gains little sustenance from it, which means it must spend around 16 hours a day eating to fuel its body. Also, the low nutritional value of the bamboo means the Panda doesn’t hibernate like other bear species. As with other bear species, the Panda is actually carnivorous and, in the wild, supplements its bamboo diet with rodents and baby musk dear (maybe even some slow Chinese farmers ).

3. Lastly, the Panda has been found to have a very high iron content in its liver. This high iron content means the Panda exhibits a slight magnetic force and, when blindfolded, it always travels north.




2. 2つ目の特徴はその食生活です。パンダは絶滅の危機にあります。それは主食である竹林の伐採が原因です。ところが、パンダの消化システムは竹を食べるのは向いていません。しかも、竹から取れる栄養はあまりないため、パンダは16時間もの間、食べ続けなくてはなりません。竹から沢山の栄養と取ることができないため、パンダは他の熊科の動物のように、冬眠はしません。また、野生のパンダは肉食でもあり、うさぎやネズミなどのげっ歯類や子供のジャコウジカなども食べます。(時々は、中国の農民たちも・・?)