Some records show that there were pandas as early as the ice age around 1 to 3 million years ago! A fossilized lower jaw of a panda was excavated in the province of Puding Baiyanjiao Cave. It is the earliest record of today’s species of the giant panda. A Chinese farmer has donated to the provincial museum of southwest China’s Guizhou province a fossil of the cranium of a giant panda. Museum officials said that the donation is the best preserved fossil of the giant panda’s cranium to date.
It is estimated that only 1,000 pandas survive in China’s bamboo-rich provinces. Their numbers whittled down as man has enroached on their habitat and by their poor reproductive capabilities, both in the wild and in captivity. Not to mention their everyday struggle for survival with natural predators and mother nature.The habitat of the panda is reduced by man everyday. What once extended far and wide is now contained in a few small areas. With the local farmers, mining and logging industry raping their habitat. Not to mention increasing human population. Their domain grows smaller and smaller.
Giant pandas are found only in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi.
The rich, dense, bamboo filled forests provide a haven for the majestic panda. They live high in the misty cloud covered mountains. These forests are very damp and rainy. In one year, a forest may receive up to 50 inches (127 cm) of rain and snow. It is also home to many other beautiful creatures, such as the golden pheasant, clouded leopard, sanbar deer, hog badger, wild pigs, and porcupines just to name a few.
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