What is unusual in panda?
In Tibet, they tell a legend about the panda. Once the girl met in the woods a white bear. They became friends and often played together. Once he was attacked by a snow leopard. The girl rushed to aid a friend and was killed. At her funeral all pandas came in black shoes and black gloves. Lamenting the girl, they rubbed eyes with paws, clutching their heads. Therefore ears of pandas are painted in black, and under the eyes there are black circles.
In the West, the panda was first introduced in 1869, in the Paris Museum of Natural History. Of course, it was a scarecrow. Only after 68 years, the West saw a panda alive. For many years it was considered even extinct. In 1961, the lovely animal became a symbol of the World Wildlife Fund. But what has attracted Europeans and Americans to panda ?
Panda – a strange child of nature. Scientists have been trying to solve its riddle. Examining the skin of the beast, they decided that the panda – a kind of plant-eating bears. Therefore, a panda bear was called bamboo bear. It was even thought the ancient bear kind.
But in 1936, the American scientist William Gregory has found at panda many anatomical features that characterized the American raccoon. Specialists had no doubt that the small panda – red, similar to a cat – is the Asian version of a raccoon. Giant Panda, according to Mr. Gregory, is giant a descendant of the small panda.
Belgian zoologist Serge Freshkop proposed to allocate panda in a special family, related both to bears and cats. However, the prevailing view is that the panda – is a special “creature”. Professor A.G. Bannikov writes: “The giant panda should be referred to a special family … intermediate between bears and raccoons.”
Indeed, panda – is a vegetarian. It feeds mainly with young bamboo shoots. The word “panda” comes from the local name “nyala poncha”, which means “eater of bamboo”. It keeps the stems of bamboo in his thick legs and bites. To do this, it was useful “sixth finger”: a bone lengthened and works as a thumb in our hand. With this finger can keep even the most delicate stalks of bamboo.
The space, which inhabits vegetarian, is small: mountain forests of Sichuan Province of China, which holds 300 km. It is here that panda can find their own food. But bamboo – a finicky plant: blooms about once every half century, gives the seeds and then dies. Only after three years there will be new growth and bamboo grove will bloom again with young green leaves. What to do during the rest time?
It is sad to see how a hungry animal dies! WWF, together with the Chinese government developed a recovery program called “Project Panda”. Center is the Wolong park. There are mountain, valleys, coniferous and deciduous forests, the carpet of ferns, and most importantly – growing bamboo. So that pandas have an opportunity to continue the race.
Today panda is difficult to find, not only bamboo, but also peace. This stems from the people. He cuts down the forest for the construction of bridges and roads. Day after day, from pandas becoming less room for habitats. So panda and does not know where to go.
Mysterious is the origin of this animal, bizarre its lifestyle and anatomy. None of the animals have something like this!