Like the Red Panda by Andrea Seigel
of the wonderful Charlie, I read Andrea Seigel's Like the Red Panda. any of her interpersonal relationships, with the possible (but only possible) Ultimately, I ended up feeling angry at Stella, primarily on Ainsley's behalf. show capitalizing on the popularity of Sanrio's all-too-relatable red panda, Retsuko. Retsuko falls hard for Resasuke, but, predictably, the relationship In the end, Aggretsuko's lesson in love is an all-too-important one. Stella Parrish is seventeen, attractive, smart, deeply alienated, and unable to countenance life's absurdities. She is not nihilistic; she is prematurely exhausted.
After the first week, the mother starts spending more time outside the nest, returning every few hours to nurse and groom the cubs. She moves the young frequently among several nests, all of which she keeps clean. The cubs start to open their eyes at about 18 days of age. By about 90 days, they achieve full adult fur and coloring, and begin to venture out of the nest.
They also start eating solid foods at this point, weaning at around six to eight months of age. The cubs stay with their mother until the next litter is born in the following summer. Males rarely help raise the young, and only if they live in pairs or in small groups. Threats The primary threats to red pandas are direct harvest from the wild, live or dead, competition with domestic livestock resulting in habitat degradation, and deforestation resulting in habitat loss or fragmentation.
The relative importance of these factors is different in each region, and is not well understood. Although direct competition for food with domestic livestock is not significant, livestock can depress bamboo growth by trampling. In addition, clearcutting for firewood or agriculture, including hillside terracing, removes old trees that provide maternal dens and decreases the ability of some species of bamboo to regenerate.
In these areas, the fur is often used for local cultural ceremonies. In weddings, the bridegroom traditionally carries the hide. The "good-luck charm" red panda-tail hats are also used by local newly-weds. Little or no mention of the red panda is made in the culture and folklore of Nepal.
In an article appearing in the International Zoo News inone reported he personally had handled red pandas in 17 years. In some parts of Nepal and India, red pandas are kept as pets.
Conservation Closeup look of a red panda. A red panda resting on a tree. Due to their shy and secretive nature, and their largely nocturnal habits, observation of red pandas is difficult.
Therefore, population figures in the wild are determined by population density estimates and not direct counts. Reliable population numbers are hard to find, partly because other animals have been mistaken for the red panda. For instance, one report from Burma stated that red pandas were still fairly common in some areas; however, the accompanying photographic proof of the "red panda" is in fact a species of civet.
China has 35 protected areascovering about Bymore than births had occurred in captivityand more than individuals lived in 85 institutions worldwide. Of these, individuals of subspecies A. The Knoxville Zoo has the largest number of captive red panda births in the Western Hemisphere as of August Only the Rotterdam Zoo has had more captive births worldwide.
As pets A red panda on a ginkgo tree. The most often cited example of keeping red pandas as pets is the case of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Pandas were presented to her family as a gift, and they were then housed in "a special tree house". Ailuridae The taxonomic classification of the red panda has been controversial since it was discovered.
The specific epithet is the Latin adjective fulgens "shining". This uncertainty comes from difficulty in determining whether certain characteristics of Ailurus are phylogenetically conservative or are derived and convergent with species of similar ecological habits. Evidence based on the fossil recordserologykaryologybehavioranatomyand reproduction reflect closer affinities with Procyonidae than Ursidae.
However, ecological and foraging specializations and distinct geographical distribution in relation to modern procyonids support classification in the separate family Ailuridae. However, the name Ailurus fulgens refulgens is sometimes incorrectly used for A. The common ancestor of both pandas which also was an ancestor for all living bears; pinnipeds like seals and walruses; and members of the family Musteloidea like weasels and otters can be traced back to the Paleogene period tens of millions of years ago, with a wide distribution across Eurasia.
Fossils of the extinct red panda Parailurus anglicus have been unearthed from China in the east to Britain in the west. This first North American record is almost identical to European specimens and indicates the immigration of this species from Asia. The tooth dates from 4. This species, described as Pristinailurus bristoliindicates that a second, more primitive ailurine lineage inhabited North America during the Miocene.
Cladistic analysis suggests that Parailurus and Ailurus are sister taxa. The discovery in Spain of the postcranial remains of Simocyon batalleria Miocene relative to the red panda, supports a sister-group relationship between red pandas and bears. Hardwicke proposed the name "wha" and explained: It is also called Chitwa.
Hardwicke's originally proposed taxonomic name was removed from the publication of his paper with his permission, and naming credit is now given to Cuvier. Later publications claim the name was adopted from a Himalayan language. InHodgson described a red panda under the name Ailurus ochraceus, of which Pocock concluded it represents the same type as Ailurus fulgens, since the description of the two agree very closely. He subordinated both types to the Himalayan red panda subspecies Ailurus fulgens fulgens.
Names in its native range The red panda's local names differ from place to place. The Lepcha call it sak nam. Indeed, given the history of molecular studies, the next one would most likely contradict their findings.
And so it did. And they noted that, "there are 1, copies of mitochondrial DNA in every cell; the selection pressure on this DNA is very low. So the similarities between the two pandas. Slick and ultramodern techniques may not always be enough to elucidate the incomprehensible. Morphology, paleontology, and natural history continue to have an important role in unraveling the evolution of the two pandas.
Fossils often provide insights into the past of a species, but there are giant gaps in the fossil record, especially of pandas. The raccoon family, an early branch of the dog family, the Canidae, evolved in North America and spread across Asia to Europe where, during the Miocene, 20 million years ago, the raccoonlike Sivanasua was found.
Like the Red Panda
The bears, also a branch of the Canidae, appeared in the early Miocene in the form of Ursavus, a bearlike creature as large as a medium-sized dog.
The first definite panda, Parailurus, a small animal resembling the red panda, occurred in the early Pliocene about 12 million years ago in southern Europe and North America; it persisted into Europe's last ice age, where it was quite common in temperate forests. Some researchers think that a small, bearlike animal of the Ursavus lineage named Agriarctos, dating from the mid-Miocene, was the ancestor of the giant panda.
Support for this supposition came in when Qiu Zhanxiang and his colleagues described a new fossil from the late Miocene in Yunnan with teeth that resemble those of the giant panda but also share characters with the ancestral forms of bears. The animal, given the name Ailurarctos lufengesis, was less than half the size of today's giant panda.
The giant panda itself appeared suddenly during the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene, perhaps no more than two to three million years ago. Panda fossils have been found in Burma, Vietnam, and particularly in eastern China, as far north as Beijing, where they appear so often with the Pleistocene elephant Stegadon that the two species are used to designate a distinct fossil fauna. The pandas of the early Pleistocene were about half the size of today's giant panda and are considered a separate species, Ailuropoda microta.
Red panda - Wikipedia
New species originate mainly when a small segment of an ancestral population becomes isolated, and the animals change form and behavior through natural selection until a population with new characteristics is well established.
This process may be so rapid that no recognizable intermediate forms or missing links are found in the fossil record. Animals can apparently evolve quickly, through major chromosomal rearrangements, as well as more slowly through mutations of single genes.
Then, having settled in, the new species may remain unaltered, except for slight modifications, for millions of years. The giant panda is known only in its existing form, apparently not an ancient relic, as is often claimed, but a relative newcomer.
Its previous incarnations still remain uncertain.
Schaller, The Last Panda, excerpt
Can the behavior of the giant panda provide clues to the animal's evolutionary relationships? This approach has problems. Species living in similar habitats may evolve similar societies and similar physical appearances, which in turn may result in similar behavior without there being a close relationship.
When comparing species, one first has to decide which aspects of behavior have been strongly influenced by ecological conditions. For instance, the amount, quality, and distribution of food effects an animal's movements, activity cycles, and social structure. Consequently two separate populations, even of the same species, may behave differently.
However, certain kinds of behavior such as scent marking and vocalizing can function well under a wide variety of conditions, and therefore they may be less influenced by ecological pressures. The giant panda produces a surprising mix of sounds, some of which it shares with bears, some with the red panda, and some with both. For instance, the giant panda's chomping, in which the animal clacks its teeth and smacks its lips when anxious, is found in bears and, in a modified form, also in red panda and even coati.
The giant panda's plaintive honk, which denotes light distress, is similar to the grunts made by bears and several procyonids, but in these animals the calling has a different function, that of a contact call between mother and young. More exclusive is the moan, a highly variable call ranging from hoots and whiney groans to long-drawn-out moans. Only giant panda and bear share this warning signal.
Particularly noteworthy is the giant panda's goat-like bleat, a friendly call that provides animals with reassurance on meeting. As Gustav Peters of the Alexander Koenig Museum in Bonn has noted, this bleat has its equivalent in the twitters and chitters of red panda and all the procyonids, but nothing similar occurs among the bears.
One would not expect such a high-pitched vocalization from an animal the size of a giant panda; in fact, several of the giant panda's calls are surprisingly high-pitched for a large carnivore.
Nursing bear cubs produce a most peculiar call, a continuous keckering, harsh and rapid almost like a loud purr. Although the function of this vocalization is unknown, it obviously conveys something important to the mother, possibly signaling her to lie still and release milk. The giant panda lacks this call. If the giant panda is merely a bear, I find it difficult to understand why the tiny young would not have such an emphatic vocalization.
Marking behavior naturally depends on the type of gland available to a species and on the location of the gland. The giant panda claws trees, urinates, and rubs its glandular anal area on objects. Bears lack a specific gland, although they stand on their hindlegs and rub shoulders, neck, and head against tree trunks, and they bite and claw bark, leaving behind their general body odor.
The red panda straddles stumps and other protuberances and deposits scent from its anal glands with circular rubbing motions, using actions closely resembling those of the giant panda; male red pandas also squirt urine.
Most procyonids scent mark with urine or anal glands or with both, behavior similar to that of pandas though the details differ. Giant pandas and bears also resemble one another in the extremely small size of their newborns.
12 Furry Facts About Red Pandas
While black bear mothers are times heavier than newborns, a giant panda mother is times heavier. By contrast, a raccoon mother is only 55 times heavier. Why is the giant panda newborn so much tinier than the others? Reproduction is influenced by ecological conditions, especially by the amount of high-quality food available to mother and young at various seasons. Bears, like giant pandas, have delayed implantation. In temperate climates bears mate and young are conceived in about June but the fertilized egg does not attach itself to the uterine wall and growth of the fetus does not begin until about 60 days before cubs are born in January or February, while the mother is in hibernation.
If cubs were large and vigorous at birth, their milk demands on the lethargic mother might be excessive, too great an energy drain on the fat deposits that must maintain her until the end of hibernation in spring. Since the giant panda does not hibernate, different selection pressures must have produced the tiny newborn. The fact that bears and giant pandas both have small young at birth does not imply that they are kin. I wondered, then, why a giant panda newborn was so extraordinarily small.
Looking at red pandas, I found some clues. The red panda also has delayed implantation something not found in procyonidsand its gestation period is an average of one hundred and thirty-one days, about the same as that of a giant panda. The daily weight gain of a giant panda fetus is less than half that of bears and more like that of the red panda as well as raccoons.
A red panda mother usually has one or two young and their birth weight is about four ounces, the same as the birth weight of the giant panda. The red panda female keeps her young hidden in a tree cavity where they develop slowly, emerging only at the age of three months, a denning period longer than that of raccoons and coatis. All these facts show that reproduction in a giant panda is more typical of a small mammal like a red panda than of a bear.
There are of course some size adjustments. For example, the long period of care required by the young giant panda extends the mother's lactation period into the next mating season, preventing her from reproducing annually. By contrast, red panda young become independent at eight instead of eighteen or more months, and the female can reproduce each year. I deduce from all this that the giant panda has retained many reproductive features of a small pandalike ancestor, merely adapting some of the historical vestiges to meet current circumstances.
Scattered pieces of evidence point to a definite relationship between giant panda and red panda: If the two species are unrelated, we must accept a remarkable amount of convergence, more than is justified by the evidence.
When did their paths diverge? Most likely the giant pandas and red pandas had a common ancestor in the Miocene. Where should the two pandas then be placed, with the bear or with the raccoon family? Even though the giant panda is most closely related to the bears, I think that it is not just a bear. Even a small amount of genetic difference between two species may have a profound influence on appearance and behavior.
Chimpanzees and humans may share as much as 99 percent of their genetic material. We should no doubt embrace the chimpanzee as a family member. But is the chimpanzee human? The giant panda and red panda offer several choices. Should the giant panda be with the bears or in a separate family but the red panda with the raccoons?
Should each panda have a separate family? Or should the two pandas share a family, the Ailuridae? I favor the last alternative. Science will overcome this paradox and perversity of evolution and ultimately assign each panda a final taxonomic home. But as yet this game of taxonomic Ping-Pong has no winners.