Are Pandas Marsupials?
Pandas are mysterious animals... What family is the panda in? Are pandas bears or marsupials? What is a marsupial?
At We Love Panda there are only addictive pandas! So we are very well placed to answer this kind of question, because we are well documented on the subject.
No, Pandas are not marsupials 🙅. Pandas are bears!
In this blog we will see together:
- Why Panda is not a marsupial...
- What's a marsupial
Come on, let's go!
Source: Panda Backpack (We Love Panda)
The panda is not a marsupial!
1) Panda is a bear:
The panda is a species of mammal that belongs to the bear family. The panda is a small bear, so it is not considered marsupials! Bears are massive, stocky animals with an elongated snout and dense fur, big legs with five non-retractable claws and a short tail. Their diet can be omnivorous and mainly vegetarian. But polar bears are carnivores, and giant pandas herbivores.
Source: Panda Store (We Love Panda©)
2) Panda is a unique bear:
After summer, species from the Northern Hemisphere spend winter in caves, dens to protect themselves from the cold 🥶. Their body temperature drops, and vital organs remain active, including for the gestation of females. During the winter period, bears do not feed and draw on their fat reserves accumulated during the summer and fall. Although living in the Northern Hemisphere, the giant panda 🐼 is an exception to the rule. It does not hibernate, but migrates to lower altitudes to continue feeding.
But then, what is a marsupial?
Okay, a panda is a bear that doesn't hibernate. But what's a marsupial?
1) Marsupial definition:
These animals carry almost all their babies in a pouch on their belly, called a marsupium. Newborns are embryos that reach the marsupium pouch by swimming along a birth canal made in the mother's fur. They cling to a teat to continue their development for several weeks or even months depending on the species. Embryos remain attached to the nipples until weaning.
2) Australian marsupials:
The Australian continent, with more than 200 species recorded, is the one with the largest number of marsupial species. But these marsupials like the koala bear are now in danger because of the recurring bushfires that are ravaging Australia. Indeed, the forest fire in early 2020 caused the deaths of over a billion animals.
The Red Kangaroo, Macropus rufus, with a weight of up to 90 kilos and a height of 1.5 meters, it is considered the largest marsupial in the world. 😲
Eastern gray kangaroo
We continue with the eastern gray kangaroo, whose weight can reach 66 kilos for a height of almost 2 meters. Besides these examples of the heaviest marsupial, the largest marsupial and the smallest marsupial, there are a multitude of other species of intermediate size.
They do look like kangaroos, they are in reality two distinct species. The two-tone Wallaby is a smaller, more common marsupial whose survival is not currently threatened.
The Common Wombat, is a marsupial that weighs between 3 and 7 kilos. The Wombat's appearance is gentle, which is why, a long time ago, it was sometimes adopted as a pet, which is now forbidden. Wombat is the heroes of the Australian forest fires, they have indeed saved other animals from certain death! ☠️
3) Argentinean marsupials:
From the north of Argentina to Patagonia, there are 24 species of marsupials.
The white-eared opossum, is a possum from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. This marsupial, has not one but three vaginas. It is the one in the center that gives birth to the embryos, the other two are used for fecundation. The males have a forked penis.
4) Mexican marsupials:
Four-eyed gray possum
The gray four-eyed opossum lives in southern Mexico and Central and South America. It feeds on various insects, as well as reptiles, rodents and fruits.
The Water Opossum, is the only aquatic marsupial in the world. It lives in the lakes and rivers of Mexico. It feeds on fish, shellfish and amphibians.
5) Tasmanian marsupials:
Tasmania's most widespread marsupial is the well-known Tasmanian devil himself. He is now known as the world's largest carnivorous marsupial.
6) Colombian marsupials:
There are about 30 species of marsupials in Colombia, the best known are the opossum species.
It is a small nocturnal marsupial in danger of extinction. It lives south of Valdivia, Antioquia and feeds mainly on insects and fruits.
Colombian gracile mouse opossum
This Colombian mouse opossum, is a small marsupial that lives in the tropical and subtropical forests of Colombia 🇨🇴.
Join the Panda team!
As we've just seen the giant panda is not a marsupial but an adorable vegetarian bear. There are also no marsupials in China today although China is the cradle of this mammal species.
If you're as crazy about pandas as we are, I invite you to take a look at our Panda Shop on we-love-panda.com, you'll find the perfect item featuring your favorite mascot: Panda Plush, Panda T-Shirt or Panda Jewelry 💎