Wild Things: Giant Pandas, an Ancient Ibis and More...
Panda-friendly forests, one bizarre bird and foxes on junk food
- By Arcynta Ali Childs, T.A. Frail, Megan Gambino, Laura Helmuth and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, March 2011
Giant Panda sitting in vegetation eating bamboo. (Pete Oxford / Minden Pictures)
What do pandas want? Bamboo, first of all; that’s almost all they eat. But they also need old trees. A Chinese Academy of Science-led study of four years of observations from across 70 percent of the giant panda’s range, the largest panda habitat data set ever compiled, showed that they are most likely to live in old-growth forest. That may be because only mature trees have cavities large enough for dens.
Learn more about giant pandas at the Encyclopedia of Life.
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“Old-growth forest is what giant pandas really need,” Zejun Zhang et al., Biology Letters, January 12, 2011
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