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Giant Pandas Characteristics and Appearance

Pandas are seriously one of the cutest animals on the planet and our China panda tours are just as special as these delightful animals. With China the only place where these pandas are found living in the wild, seeing pandas up close is definitely a travel memory you’ll treasure.

Why take a China panda tour?

You simply can’t visit China without having pandas on your bucket list. Pandas are beautiful animals and are every bit as funny and playful in the flesh as they are on the big screen. Remember Po, the world’s funniest panda from Kung Fu Panda? On a China panda tour, you can meet his namesake at one of the special panda research centres that are included in our tour itineraries.

Giant pandas are one of the cutest animals in the world. They have a distinctive black and white appearance. They are good climbers and can also swim. They don't build dens like other bears (except to put cubs in) or hibernate.


China Giant Pandas' Appearance

China Panda

Distinctively Black and White

Giant pandas have a distinctive appearance. Their thick black and white fur equips them for life in cool forests.

Their white coat with black markings is unique, with black patches round the eyes and ears, black legs, and a black band around the shoulders. And they have cute white tails.

They Have "Cat-Like" Pupils — For Seeing Well at Night

They have good geographical memory, hearing, and sense of smell, but their sight is poor. However, they have cat-like pupils, so they can still see adequately to move around at night.

Giant Pandas Have Strong Teeth

Giant pandas start to grow permanent teeth as they gradually draw to 7 months old. Their back teeth are about seven times the size of a human's, with a wide surface area. The powerful jaw bones and strong teeth of giant pandas help them crush and grind bamboo.

Their Paws Have Six "Fingers"!

Giant pandas' paws have five "fingers" facing forward and one "thumb" — an enlarged bone at the heel of the paw used for gripping bamboo, climbing trees, etc.

How Tall and Heavy are Giant Pandas?

Grown pandas are about 75 cm (2½ ft) tall and 1.5 meters (5 ft) long (see the diagram showing a man and a giant panda). They weigh up to 150 kg (330 lb) in captivity. Females are smaller, weighing up to 125 kg (275 lb) in captivity.

Body length: 120–180cm (47–71")
Shoulder height: 54–81cm (21–32")
Hip height: 52–77cm (20–30")
Chest girth: 70–106cm (28–42")
Hind leg length: 12–20cm (5–8")
Tail length: 10–20cm (4–8")
Wild giant panda weight: 60–110 kg (132–243 lb)
Captive giant panda weight: 80–150 kg (176––330 lb)
Life expectancy in the wild: 20 years
Life expectancy in captivity: 30+ years (oldest recorded 36 years)

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