Giant pandas spend their lives eating bamboo and walking around the forest floor. They are good climbers and can also swim. They don’t build dens (except to put cubs in) or hibernate. If it is too cold up in the mountains they head down to the valleys where it is warmer.
Grown pandas are about 75 centimeters (2.5 foot) 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). Females are smaller, weighing up to 125 kg (275 lb).
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.
Giant pandas' paws have five “fingers” and one “thumb” – an enlarged bone at the heel of the paw used for gripping bamboo, climbing, etc.
Giant pandas' round body shape helps them keep warm despite their low-calory bamboo diet. Their round faces hold big jaw muscles and molars for crushing bamboo.
They have good geographical memory, hearing and sense of smell, but their sight is poor.
The giant pandas start to grow permanent teeth as they gradually draw to 7 months old, whose back-teeth are about 7 times the size of those of human being, featuring a wide surface area. The powerful jaw bones and strong teeth of giant pandas help them crush and grind bamboos.
Bamboos are the favorite food of giant pandas, which account for 99% of food for panda. Giant pandas consume about 25-kilogram bamboos per day, only 17% of which are absorbed. The bamboos consumed by giant pandas are classified into 40 kinds of 9 genera in the panda habitats now, and the well-selected feeds, vegetables, and fruits are also provided for pandas in captivity to ensure their demand for nutrition. The wild giant pandas would hunt for small animals such as mice once in a while.