Bite-sized fun facts about giant pandas’ teeth

16th January 2024 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

Each year March 16th is all about pandas. Here, it’s always about teeth and today it’s giant pandas’ teeth in particular.

Well known because they’re endangered, I believe it’s true to say that although we all have a good idea of what a giant panda looks like, not many of us have ever seen a live one. I know I haven’t.

Until last year, the only giant pandas in the UK were in Edinburgh Zoo.

Striking images of pandas are everywhere though. Indeed, the giant panda is the famous emblem of the World Wildlife Foundation. So are they really as cute as they look?

close up of black and white bear's head shows giant pandas teeth with bamboo behind

We are what we eat

Pandas love to eat bamboo. But that doesn’t mean they’re herbivores. In actual fact they have the digestive system of a carnivore, so eating a diet that’s 99% vegetarian is not very efficient for fuel. It means that pandas spent more than half the day eating, and the rest of the time sleeping, or excreting the roughage waste from the food they haven’t been able to digest. It’s a good thing they don’t run! And perhaps all the cute pictures of pandas rolling around is just how they save their energy. Why walk down a hill when you can roll instead?

A quick look into a giant pandas’ teeth and mouth

Once a panda opens its mouth, the standout feature is big canines. We may not expect that in a cuddly panda! Their teeth also need to be very strong. With all that bamboo eating, there’s a lot of hard work a panda’s teeth and mouth have to do.

Panda’s have:

I think you’ll agree, panda’s are cute and interesting too!

Read more:

A zoo vet’s duties include looking after animal’s teeth. Here’s an article about a panda getting a chipped tooth repaired with a composite white filling. She had her teeth scaled too.

Did you know:

Q – Which animal is often called a bear, but is not a bear?

A – A koala. It’s a marsupial, therefore it’s more like a kangaroo than a panda or grizzly.

Read more:

POSTED IN: Children






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