Why Are Pandas So Clumsy?

Videos online of pandas falling or rolling down a hill are very popular on the internet. People love to see these adorable, giant bears showing off their clumsy side and having fun. But why exactly are pandas so clumsy? 

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Why are pandas so clumsy? 

Pandas are not the most graceful animals in the animal kingdom! But pandas’ falling is actually completely normal for them. Scientists from Zoo Atlanta and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding discovered in 2003 that pandas fall as a way of playing.

Giant panda cubs will fall as they grow and it is completely expected. Their mothers will also fall with them! These scientists also say that this contributes to panda cubs’ development. 

Other reasons why pandas are clumsy come from their body shape. Pandas are pretty round animals and they also have fairly short limbs. So it make sense that they sometimes can’t help but fall, right? 

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Are pandas good climbers? 

Even though pandas appear to be extremely clumsy and always tripping over their feet, they are actually very skilled climbers! The best panda climbers actually use their heads to help them shimmy themselves up a tree.

Animals with the body shape of a panda (large body with short legs and arms) are not usually the best climbers, but these bears sure do enjoy it! On top of using their heads to help them climb trees, they also will completely hug the tree they are climbing which gives them more stability. 

Are pandas good climbers?
Are pandas good climbers?

Are pandas good swimmers? 

Panda bears are great at swimming! Maybe they just feel more graceful in the water than they do on land? If a panda feels threatened by anything and they are by water, they will often use their swimming skills to get to safety!  

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Are pandas playful? 

Pandas are very playful animals! In the wild, panda cubs will play with their siblings and their mother. If a panda lives close enough to people, they will sometimes sneak into villages and take things like utensils that they play with like toys. They then abandon these toys later someplace in the wild.  

In zoos, pandas will play with items that are meant to enrich the bears, such as ice cubes, sawdust, toys that have different scents, and even puzzle games made of bamboo that have food hidden inside.  

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How big do pandas get? 

Pandas might not be as big as you thought! Pandas are about the same size as the American black bear- they are usually only about two to three feet tall at the shoulder when they are standing on all four legs. Lengthwise, they usually grow to be about four to six feet long.

Male pandas usually weigh about 250 pounds in the wild, while female pandas usually weigh no more than 220 pounds. A newborn panda cub is usually about the size of a stick of butter when they are born! These cubs usually weigh about three to five ounces and they are about 1/900th the size of their mother! The tiny cubs are pink, hairless, and blind, and completely dependent on their mother for everything.  

Where do pandas live? 

Pandas live in the mountain ranges in south-central China. China is actually the only country in the world where pandas are found in the wild and are only found in three providences in that country – Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu. They live in forests with a dense field of bamboo. They usually live at elevations of about 5,000 to 10,000 feet in areas that are usually shrouded in lots of clouds and mist. 

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How much do pandas eat? 

You probably know that pandas eat a diet of mostly bamboo. But how much bamboo exactly do they eat? On average, pandas eat between 26 to 84 pounds of bamboo every day! 

Are pandas actually bears? 

Giant pandas are actually bears. They have been grouped with the bear family since the 1860s. The reason that there was a disagreement on whether or not they were bears for so long is that they do not have a lot of typical bear characteristics.

Most other bears eat meat, where pandas eat a vegetation diet (with about 99% of their diet bamboo). Pandas also have a bit of a different body shape than most other bears. Red pandas, on the other hand, are not members of the bear family and instead are members of a completely different family, the Ailuridae family.  

Why Are Pandas So Clumsy?
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