When looking at the Red Panda ( Ailurus fulgens ) you are likely to see similarities to the North American Raccoon. Despite their similar facial markings, size, and look, they are completely different when it comes to just about anything else.
That said, the Red Panda is a fascinating and curious animal that has caught the hearts and minds of many people all over the world. This is why many characters in some anime, such as the Fire Ferret in the popular anime Avatar, is based around the Red Panda. Sadly, however, this little guy is currently endangered.
Anatomy and Behavior
As mentioned before, the main thing that you will see when you look at the Red Panda is the very distinctive markings on its face. The main purpose of these markings, as well its deep red fur coloration, is thought to be camouflage. Since it spends most of its time in the trees with red and white clumps of moss, it most likely uses this as a way to hide from predators.
They also have very soft and dense fur coats, which help them during the cold and harsh winters. Their long tails are very fluffy, and help them to maintain a balance, which is important when walking across three branches.
When it comes to their psychology, there is a lot to talk about as well. For instance, their main sense is their nose. They can find out so many things about their environment simply through the act of smelling it. This is why they mark their territory with feces and urine, and also why they excrete a scent through their feet. This helps them to figure out where they have been, and if there are any predators or competition.
Distribution and Habitat
The Red Panda lives in Asia, between Nepal and China. There are not too main left in the wild, mainly due to the destruction of their habitat, which is Bamboo forests. About 85-95% of the Red Panda's diet. That means that without the bamboo to sustain them, they will die out over time.
So the last thing that we want to happen is to lose their cute and fascinating animal. So more work needs to be done to make sure that their habitat is no longer destroyed. But before we can do that, the first thing we need is to educate ourselves on them and how they live their lives. So to end this article, check out these little fellas: