Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals
A blog encouraging deeper relations between people and animals.
The Teachings of the Giant Panda: Embrace Diversity
Recently Mei Xiang, the resident Giant Panda, at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. gave birth to twins. What does the Giant Panda has to teach us? And why are Pandas important?
A survivor of the last Ice Age, Giant Panda belongs to the oldest family of the most primitive bears (Ailuropodinae). Although He has a digestive system of a meat eater, Giant Panda feeds exclusively on bamboo. Until DNA testing became available, scientists could not identify what Mammal Family Giant Panda belonged to.
Sitting on his rump, this ancient Bear grasps bamboo shoots and calmly munches away at them. His “thumb” makes Giant Panda unique among animals. This elongated wrist bone gives Him an extra opposable digit on his paw. Giant Panda uses this as a “hand” when He eats.
Because bamboo was so plentiful and widespread in South Asia, Giant Panda decided to become solely dependent on this plant. Now that the bamboo forests are fragmented, Giant Panda is severely endangered. Because of his specialization, He cannot go back to the omnivore habits of his fellow Bears.
Giant Panda asks people to embrace diversity. He is a Bear who eats exclusively plants. He has a “thumb” unlike any other Animal. However, do not become so unique that you endanger yourself.
Teaching of the Giant Panda: “What is black and white and black and white and black and white? Pandas symbolize the diversity and tenacity of life.” Copyright: Lance Craighead, “Bears of the World.”
Wisdom of the Giant Panda:
Becoming a Vegetarian
Please login first in order for you to submit comments