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Adaptations Of The Giant Panda

Giant pandas are a highly specialized animal, with interesting and unique adaptations for the kind of life they life and the habitats they inhabit in the wild.

Giant Pandas, Eating & Digestion:

Giant pandas sit upright while they eat, sort of like humans do.  Sitting like that leaves their front paws free to be used sort of like hands.

Giant pandas have elongated and enlarged wrist bone covered with a fleshy pad of skin which forms a "pseudo thumb" that these interesting bears use for grasping bamboo stems.

Panda bears have powerful jaws and strong teeth which enables them to crush the tough, fibrous bamboo into bits. They also strip pieces off the bamboo to get to the inside layers of the bamboo.  It is sort of like peeling a banana.


Giant panda bears have a digestive system that is more like that of a carnivore than that of a herbivore.  because of that much of what they eat is passed out in their feces as waste.   Because of that inefficient digestion of their primary bamboo diet pandas must consume a large amount of bamboo

Giant pandas need to eat 20 to 40 pounds of bamboo every day in order to get enough nutrients out of their odd bamboo diet.

In order to eat that much bamboo panda bears spend 10 to 16 hours every a day hunting for food and eating. The rest of a panda's time is spent sleeping and resting.

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How Much Water Does A Giant Panda Bear Drink?

In the wild giant panda bears get most of the water their bodies need from the large amounts of bamboo that they eat.  Bamboo is classed as a grass and about half of its makeup is water.  In fact, new bamboo shots (young bamboo) is actually about 90% water.

Since bamboo doesn't provide enough water for giant pandas to survive they also drink fresh water daily from rivers and streams. Those rivers and streams must be really cold since those streams and rivers are fed by snow that has melted high up in the mountains.

What Is A Giant Panda's Fur Like?

Because the regions pandas live in, in the wild, is wet and cold their fur is thick and oily.

Do Giant Panda Bears Hibernate?

Other bears who live in cold climates do hibernate, however giant pandas do not hibernate.