5 things about Red Pandas that make them so special!

Red Panda

Photo Credit: Shantanu Prasad

Red Pandas are one of those species that have been overshadowed by their bigger counterparts. But it’s time, that this adorable fellow gets the much needed attention it deserves.. just look how cute they are 🙂

Here are a few facts to help you break the ice and know this little guy better!

1) Red pandas aren’t pandas.
Despite their name, red pandas aren’t closely related to giant pandas, until the last ten or fifteen years when scientists settled upon just where red pandas fit on the evolutionary tree of life. Red pandas form their own phylogenetic family, alongside skunks, raccoons, and mustelids.

And you thought your life is complicated huh!

2) Herbivorous carnivore
This may sound like an oxymoron. Red pandas are classified as carnivores because they’re descended from the same ancestors as the other carnivores, but they rarely eat anything other than bamboo and a few insects. And while giant pandas eat all of a bamboo plant, red pandas eat only the young leaves.

Never knew food habits could be so complex…

3) Blending in


Photo Credit: Nat Geo Archives

Closely look at the reddish-orange tint of the red panda’s coat. It turns out that the red panda is pretty good at hiding from predators by disappearing into the branches of fir trees which are usually covered with reddish-brown moss. Which is pretty handy because death by a snow leopard is not the best way to say goodbye to the world.

4) Tweet away
Now here we are not talking about the famous social media platform. You tweet with 140 characters only while they tweet to make a conversation. Actually, to be accurate, the sound they make is known as “twittering.”

5) Vunerable
Today only a few survive in a handful of habitats in India and Nepal as their natural space is shrinking as more and more forests are being destroyed. Habitat destruction has increased this species’ chances of extinction.



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