Zoology & Botany

panda

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy panda in advance, as well as a sample of black and white fur

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a panda.) This is a mammal.

Remember, to be classified as a mammal, an animal should have hair or fur, mammary glands (mammal mothers nurse their young with milk), lungs and need air to breathe. Mammals that live on land are warm blooded, have 4 legs and ears that stick out.

(Point to the panda) Say: Pandas or (giant pandas) are one of the cutest animals in the world. Their thick black and white fur equips them for life in cool forests.(Ask the baby to touch the sample of fur) Say: Their coat is unique, with black patches round the eyes and ears, black legs, and a black band around the shoulders, in addition to cute white tails. Their powerful jaw bones and strong teeth help them crush and grind bamboo. Pandas' paws have five “fingers” facing forward and one “thumb”; an enlarged bone at the heel of the paw used for gripping bamboo and climbing trees. They have good geographical memory, hearing, and sense of smell, but their sight is poor. (Climb up the tree with me, baby, like pandas.) Go back to the picture of the panda. Say: let’s find panda’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, legs: 1,2,3,4; this is its tail. The panda uses its stump-like tail like a brush to mark territory with ‘scent’ produced by scent glands located beneath the tail. At first glance, the giant panda would seem to resemble a bear, but in fact its features show it has a stronger affinity with raccoons. Pandas are living things and need energy to survive. A pandas´ appetite for bamboo is insatiable. They eat bamboo 12 hours a day. But one reason they eat so much is that bamboo is low in nutrients. Pandas also eat rodents, fish, insects and birds. Eating both vegetation and meat makes these pandas omnivores. The panda's stomach is ideal for digesting bamboo. The walls of the stomach are extra-muscular to digest the wood of the bamboo. The stomach is also covered inside with mucus that prevents it from being punctured by splinters.  Giant pandas mate in the spring. After mating, the female will be pregnant for 100 to 180 days. Then, she will give birth to one or two cubs. Cubs weigh only (85 to 142 grams) when they are born, and are completely blind at birth. At 18 months, the cub is weaned and sent to live on its own. Pandas or (giant pandas) are bears that are native to China, where they are considered a national treasure.  In the wild, giant pandas are only found in the remote, mountainous regions of central China. In this area, there are cool, wet bamboo forests that are perfect for the panda's needs. The giant panda does not hibernate but it shelters in caves or hollow trees in very cold weather. There are only about 1,000 giant pandas left in the wild. They are classified as ¨Endangered¨. The main cause of the panda’s decline now is the erosion of its habitat due to the clearing of areas for crop cultivation. We need to take care of Pandas and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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