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Ailuropoda
Temporal range: Pliocene – Present
Grosser Panda.jpg
Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Subfamily: Ailuropodinae
Genus: Ailuropoda
Milne-Edwards, 1870
Referred species

Ailuropoda is the only extant genus in the ursid (bear) subfamily Ailuropodinae. It contains one living and four fossil species of Giant panda.

Only one species—Ailuropoda melanoleuca—currently exists; the other four species are prehistoric chronospecies. Despite its taxonomic classification as a carnivoran, the giant panda has a diet that is primarily herbivorous, which consists almost exclusively of bamboo.

Giant pandas have descended from Ailurarctos, which lived during the late Miocene.

In 2011 fossil teeth from over 11 mya found in the Iberian peninsula were identified as belonging to a previously unidentified species in the Ailuropodinae subfamily This species was named Agriarctos beatrix (now Kretzoiarctos).

Formerly, the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) was considered closely related to giant pandas. It is no longer considered a bear, however, and is now classified as the sole living representative of a different carnivore family (Ailuridae).

SpeciesEdit

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