What is Giant Panda's Favorite Season?

By iPanda

Giant Panda Babies in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

You may have a love-hate relationship with winter, while giant pandas are definitely affectionate towards it, especially snowy days! 

Giant Pandas in the Tree (2020) by iPandaiPanda

When it snows, giant pandas may frolic, roll, climb trees, have a playful fight, and enjoy their meals in the open air to express how they appreciate the snow. 

Seems they never have a problem with the freezing temperature out of doors. 

Giant Panda Walking in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

Giant pandas are born adorable, while apparently they look even more picturesque in the snow. The vast and bleak background adds a bit of mystery and gallantry to their image, and their rotund shape and black alternating with white pattern stamp their own interpretation on the ‘Tai Chi’ philosophy. Giant pandas and winter are indeed a good match!

Giant Panda Walking in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

As warriors from the Quaternary glaciation, giant pandas are fearless of the piercingly cold, and they do not hibernate in winter. Even when the temperature drops to -4℃ to -14℃, they still move through the snow-covered bamboo forest. 

Giant Pandas Playing in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

For many animals, hibernation is the strategy for spending winter to cope with the harsh conditions. Most of the bears hibernate, such as black bears and brown bears.

Then why doesn’t the giant panda hibernate?

Giant Panda Eating in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

The giant panda’s diet consists almost exclusively of bamboo. Bamboo is found everywhere within the giant panda’s remote mountainous habitat, making it an easy to access food source with few competitors, and it can survive winter and remain vital. Therefore giant pandas don’t experience food shortage throughout the year. Food supply is the key factor to decide whether or not a warm-blooded mammal hibernates.

Giant Panda Eating in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

Bamboo is a low-nutrient, indigestible food, and giant pandas get only 15 to 25 percent of its nutrients. 

So unlike some other bears, giant pandas cannot store enough energy beforehand for them to consume during hibernation. 

Giant Panda Walking in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

Even in the freezing conditions, giant pandas constantly forage for bamboo. Statistics show in the wild, an adult giant panda spends 12 to 16 hours a day seeking and eating bamboo.

Giant Panda Walking in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

Giant pandas display seasonal diet preferences by consistently switching their feeding habits to incorporate different bamboo parts. They prefer bamboo shoots in spring and summer, and eat more bamboo leaves in autumn. In winter if there are no shoots or tender leaves available in the wild, giant pandas switch to having bamboo stems or stalks.      

Giant Pandas Hiding in the Snowy Bush (2020) by iPandaiPanda

In order to save energy, the giant panda leads a secluded life with few social contacts and limited home range. This is why it is called the “hermit of the bamboo forest”.

Giant Panda Sitting in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

The giant panda's black-and-white color can be a camouflage in its snowy habitat, while the black part helps to absorb heat and keep warm. And its large, chubby body effectively reduces heat loss.

Giant Panda Sitting in the Snow (2020) by iPandaiPanda

The giant panda is covered in thick and luxuriant fur. A grown-up panda’s fur can grow up to 10 cm, and it is filled with a thick layer of loose and hollow medulla to improve the thermal insulation effect.

Moreover, panda’s fur is rich in oil to keep it dry in the moist environment.

Giant Panda in the Tree (2020) by iPandaiPanda

The giant panda’s survival wisdom and philosophy of life is thought-provoking, and its unique way of spending the winter further proves it is a miracle in biological evolution.

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