Saturday, February 13, 2010
Camera Critters: Little Panda
This is a Red or Little Panda or Firefox. His scientific name is Ailurus fulgens, which means Shining Cat. Despite the common name, it's not really related to Pandas or other bears, but to skunks and racoons. It has a family of its own that contains only the Red Panda and no other living species.
Like the Giant Panda, it eats mainly bamboo and has a false thumb (an elongated wrist) that allows it to grasp and manipulate its food. Red Pandas are threatened by loss of habitat and they are being hunted for fur and the pet trade despite being protected. They breed more successfully than Giant Pandas in captivity, though. The Red Panda Network is a project for the research and conservation of Red Pandas.
More cute critters over at the Camera Critters meme!
photo taken at Hagenbecks Tierpark, published with kind permission