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name for two nocturnal Asian mammals of the order Carnivora: the red panda, Ailurus fulgens, and the giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca.

The red panda, also known as lesser panda and cat bear, is found at high elevations in the Himalayas and the mountains of W China and N Myanmar. It resembles a raccoon but has a longer body and tail and a more rounded head. It is about 3.5 ft (105 cm) in total length and weighs about 12 lb (5.5 kg). The very thick fur is rust color to deep chestnut, with black on the under parts, limbs, and ears; there are dark eye patches on the white face. The red panda spends much of its time in trees but feeds on the ground, eating primarily bamboo leaves but also fruit, roots, and other plant matter. It is the sole member of the family Ailuridae.

The giant panda superficially resembles a bear, but its classification has been disputed; genetic research, however, indicates it is related to the bears, family Ursidae. The body is chiefly white, and the limbs are brownish black, with the dark color extending up over the shoulder. The ears and eye patches are black. Adults weigh from 200 to 300 lb (90–140 kg) and are from 4.5 to 5 ft (140–150 cm) long with a 5-in. (13-cm) tail. Giant pandas live in restricted areas of the high mountain bamboo forests of central China; their diet consists almost entirely of bamboo shoots. Rare in the wild, they breed poorly in captivity, but using artificial insemination and techniques designed to enable a female panda to raise twins, Chinese scientists have greatly improved the reproduction rate of captive pandas. Giant pandas are protected by law in China.

Pandas are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, families Ailuridae and Ursidae.


See E. B. Schaller et al., The Giant Pandas of Wolong (1985); D. MacClintock, Red Pandas (1988).


(vertebrate zoology)
Either of two Asian species of carnivores in the family Procyonidae; the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) has long, thick, red fur, with black legs; the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is white, with black legs and black patches around the eyes.


1. a large black-and-white herbivorous bearlike mammal, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, related to the raccoons and inhabiting the high mountain bamboo forests of China: family Procyonidae
2. lesser or red panda a closely related smaller animal resembling a raccoon, Ailurus fulgens, of the mountain forests of S Asia, having a reddish-brown coat and ringed tail


(1) A family of security software from Panda Security, Bilbao, Spain ( Among other products, it offers a cloud-based antivirus program that collects malware data from all of its users that are passed on to the rest of the Panda community within a few minutes. See antivirus.

(2) A periodic set of changes to the Google search algorithm. See Google algorithm.

(3) (Panda Project) See Archistrat computer.
References in periodicals archive ?
This marks the first time in twenty years that giant pandas have been loaned to a Canadian zoo, and allows both zoos to contribute to ongoing international efforts to preserve the species.
He was there to celebrate the naming of the only giant panda to be born in the United States last year.
One twin was taken from his mother to be bottle-fed by staff because giant pandas can only nurse one at a time.
The male Ling Ling had been the only giant panda kept at Ueno Zoo, after the death of the zoo's female giant panda Tong Tong in July last year.
Roberts and other panda scientists who met recently in Washington agree that zoos around the world need to cooperate in their breeding programs, so that the giant panda could be preserved even if it becomes extinct in the wild.
The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a threatened species (IUCN 2016), and extensive efforts have been made by conservation biologists and wildlife managers to enlarge its populations.
The cubs, born pink with sparse white hair, will be cared for in a maternity area of the giant panda house for several months, and "twin-swapped" between an incubator and their mother so they have time to bond with Er Shun.
Seventeen-year-old Mei Xing was artificially inseminated with frozen semen from a male giant panda in April.
TWO giant pandas have broken the record for the longest ever mating.
The challenges for giant panda protection came in the context of a generally improving picture which showed that the population of giant pandas in the wild had increased by 268 to 1,864 from more than 10 years ago.
Yang Guang has been nominated in the cuddly, yet fierce and competitive, Favourite Panda Outside of China category at the third annual Giant Panda Zoo Awards - also known as "the Oscars of the panda world".
Their departure marks the start of a 15-year cooperation of giant panda breeding research between China and Belgium.