|Subspecies|| A. melanoleuca melanoleuca|
A. melanoleuca qinlingensis
The giant panda, or panda bear, is a large black and white mammal native to central-western and southwestern China, today classified as a member of the bear family (Ursidae), though its unusual unbearlike features and habits for a long period consigned it to its own family (the Ailuridae).
The giant panda has a diet which is 98% bamboo, with other foods including fish, honey and yams. The giant panda is a vulnerable animal (formerly endangered as of 2016), with an estimated 3,000 pandas alive in the wild, though intensive conservation efforts have been made by the Chinese.
Evolutionists such as Stephen Jay Gould have tried to claim that the panda's thumb, which is a modified seamoid bone, is evidence of evolution. Gould claimed that an actual Intelligent Designer would have made the panda's thumb the same as the human thumb. But all this shows is variation, not evolution, possibly occurring in the panda. This argument also assumes that the Designer would want to design the panda the same way He designed the human. This assumption depends on revelation or hubristic assumptions about the nature of God.
The World Wide Fund for Nature uses a giant panda as its logo, and the animal has been an enduring symbol for wildlife conservation for over 40 years.
In Popular Culture
Pandas are quite popular in culture, despite their low population. Below are some examples:
Po, the protagonist of the Dreamworks animated film Kung Fu Panda and its two sequels, is a panda. The two sequels after the first focus on Po's history with the other pandas, especially reuniting with his biological father and the rest of the panda village in Kung Fu Panda 3.
The fourth expansion of World of Warcraft - Mists of Pandaria - has a race called the Pandaren, which are modeled after Pandas. Out of the playable races in this game, Pandaren players start neutral, neither with the Alliance nor the Horde; they get to choose which faction to join when leaving the island that they start on.
The Sly Cooper games features a panda villain: a member of the Fiendish Five called the Panda King, who had a hand in the murder of Sly Cooper's father. Later on in the first game, Sly defeats the Panda King, saving a local mountain village in the process. The Panda King is revealed to have a daughter in the third game, whom Sly must help rescue from an arrogant warlord.
- Giant Panda classification
- Woodmorappe, John, Panda thumbs its nose at the dysteleological arguments of the atheist Stephen Jay Gould, Journal of Creation 13(1):45–48, April 1999.