The panda ( scientific name : Ailuropoda melanoleuca , from Greek : ailuros , cat + pruning , feet, and melano , black + leukos , white) is an omnivorous mammal of the Ursidae family endemic to the People’s Republic of China . The short snout resembling a plush bear , the characteristic black and white coat, and the peaceful, good-natured manner make it one of the most beloved animals of mankind . Extremely docile and shy, he hardly attacks man , except when extremely irritated.
The giant panda is a black and white colored mammal eating bamboo (leaves). The coat is thick and woolly to withstand the low temperatures in the subalpine environment in which it lives. The ocular spots, limbs, ears and a band that crosses the shoulders are black; sometimes with a brownish tone. The remaining parts of the body are white, but may become “grimy” with age. The population of the Qingling region presents the coat in two contrasting shades of brown.
The skull and jaw are robust, the sagittal crest is well developed, and the zygomatic arches are expanded laterally and dorsoventrally, as well as in the other arctoeal carnivores . It differs from the other ursids because it presents the orbital fissure confluent with the round foramen , the post-orbital processes are reduced, and the distal canal is absent. It presents the intepicondilar foramen , a primitive trait, only shared with Tremarctos ornatus.
From xiong mao (大熊猫), the Chinese name for the panda, means great cat-bear . It can also be called huaxiong ( band bear ), maoxiong ( feline bear ) or xiongmao ( ursino cat ). Historical records of 3000 years ( “The Book of History and the Book of Songs” , the oldest collection of Chinese poetry ), mention it under the name of pi and pixiu . The word panda means something like ” bamboo eater.
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