Not growing any longer than the size of a typical house cat, red pandas are a dwarfed cousin of their large black and white cousins called the pandas with which they share their names. While they do not grow to be very large, their tails do add an additional 18 inches to the length of their bodies as they are long and bushy.
Just like their larger counterparts, red pandas also live in the high altitude habitats within forests but they live in a larger area than pandas. Red pandas are found in central China and also in the mountains of Myanmar and Nepal.
They are very lazy animals that happen to sleep quite a lot and spend most of their lives in trees which helps keep them safe from predators.
They are very active during the night where they can be found foraging the forest for food. While red pandas also share their cousins’ diet of bamboos, they are known to eat a lot more foods. Their diet consists of pandas, fruits, acorns, roots and eggs even though they are primarily considered herbivores. They have an extended wrist bone which actually acts as a kind of thumb that comes in handy for a better grip.
Red pandas are one of the most intriguing species of animal which has confused scientists for years. Although they are named red pandas, they are not exactly considered completely a species of panda. They also share incredible similarities to raccoons. This is why the red pandas are categorized in an animal family of their own called the Ailurudae.
These are very shy animals which rarely even interact with each other except for the time when mating season comes around. A female red panda will give birth to anywhere between one to four young. The red panda younglings stay in the nest for 3 months. The mother takes care of the young during that time while the father takes no interest in their young. Red pandas are known to typically live up to 8 years in the wild.
Red pandas do not breed prolifically because of their shy nature and are considered to be a species at risk. This is because their natural habitat keeps shrinking due to deforestation.