Q:

Do pandas have tails?

A:

Quick Answer

Giant pandas have tails, but on adults they often go unnoticed because the tails make up less than 10 percent of the total body of an adult. The tail of an adult giant panda is also often tucked close to the body, making it difficult to spot.

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Full Answer

The circumanal gland at the root of a giant panda's tail excretes a substance with an acidic odor. A giant panda uses its tail to smear this substance and its odor on tree stumps, walls and other surfaces to mark its territory. A female giant panda may also use its tail to mark an area with an odor to indicate that she is ready to mate.

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Related Questions

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    Why have giant pandas become endangered?

    A:

    Giant pandas are endangered due to hunting and habitat loss. While it is illegal to hunt giant pandas and poaching has declined, hunters still sometimes accidentally kill them while seeking other animals. The panda's primary habitat is the Yangtze Basin region. Fragmentation of the area caused by roads and railroads has isolated panda populations, which not only prevents them from meeting and mating, but also reduces their access to bamboo.

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  • Q:

    What kind of habitats do pandas prefer?

    A:

    Giant pandas are found in coniferous and broadleaf forests, according to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. These forests have torrential rain or heavy mist throughout the year.

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    How do pandas adapt to their habitat?

    A:

    Pandas have adapted to their habitat by evolving a body shape, a digestive system and behavior patterns to accommodate a diet consisting almost exclusively of bamboo. Their fur has evolved to conform to the climate, landscape and foliage of their habitat. Because of the hilly terrain and lack of severity of the weather, they do not hibernate like other bears but instead move to lower elevations in winter.

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    How do pandas urinate?

    A:

    Male pandas urinate in a handstand position with one of their legs leaning upon a tree, and shoot their pee backwards, while female pandas pee in a seated position. Male Pandas pee in this position to allow them to spread their scent to attract prospective female mating partners. The higher the male panda pees off ground, the better, because it maximizes their odor field. Pandas developed this habit in order to better spread their scent.

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