How Do Red Pandas Communicate? (7 Unusual Ways Explained!)

All animals, including the red pandas, have a unique way of communicating with one another. While some animals make certain noises, others use body language.

How exactly do the red pandas communicate?

Red pandas communicate by making different noises, such as twitters, whistles, and squeals. They also use body language in the form of tail arching and head bobbing to pass messages.

Another way the red pandas communicate is by using scents to mark their territory.

To some extent, we believe you now have a little idea of how the red pandas communicate. But when do they communicate and what does it mean?

Continue reading to find out!

Verbal Communication

Naturally, the red pandas do not make noises. However, they make some sounds whenever they want to pass a message to one another.

Here are 5 of them:

1. Huff Quack

Red pandas make a funny “huff quack” sound sometimes. This sound is similar to the combination of a pig’s snort and a duck’s quack. Usually, the red pandas make this “huff quack” sound when they’re happy or content.

So, a red panda can make this sound when it sights a truckload of bamboo or after eating to satisfaction.

2. Barking

Like dogs, red pandas also bark out loudly in the wild and in captivity. Often, the red fox bears make this high-pitched sound whenever they feel threatened in their environment.

Interestingly, the red pandas also bark to inform the others about the presence of predators. 

So, a fox bear may start barking in your presence if it feels challenged.

3. Hissing

Another way the red pandas communicate verbally is by hissing like snakes. Despite being quiet animals, the red pandas hiss to signal danger in their environment. 

Sometimes, they also grunt like pigs to alert the others to watch out or go into hiding.

4. Twittering

Red pandas tweet like birds, although not in the same way. 

Researchers believe the red pandas make this twittering sound to attract mates. In other words, a female red panda may twitter to attract males, especially during the breeding seasons.  

In addition, the red pandas also bleat at low frequency during their mating season to attract mates.

5. Whistles

Baby red pandas make high-pitched whistling sounds whenever they are in distress. 

Bear in mind that red panda cubs are usually blind and deaf at birth, and hence helpless. So, it is not surprising if they constantly whistle out of distress to call their mother’s attention.

Read Also – How Do Pandas Communicate? 

Non-Verbal Communication

Apart from making sounds to communicate, the red pandas use non-verbal methods.

Here are 3 of them:

1. Scent Marking

One common way the red pandas communicate is by urinating or rubbing their scent-producing glands on a surface. 

Often, these cute animals use their scent to show their readiness to breed or to mark their territory.

While marking their scent, the red pandas display a funny move that looks like a “wiggle” dance. Usually, the reddish-brown liquid that red pandas release tells the others about their age, sex, fertility, etc.

To mark their territory, the red pandas use the scent glands between their footpads. These glands release a colorless liquid, which humans cannot smell. 

Surprisingly, the red pandas test the odors with the underside of their tongues, which have cone-like shapes. 

A red panda uses its tongue to collect the colorless liquid, then brings it close to a gland in its mouth. Doing this allows the red pandas to identify the liquid that was released.

2. Putting The Hands Up

Seeing a red panda putting up its hands creates an amusing sight. Whenever the red pandas put their hands up and raise their hindquarters, it means they feel threatened. 

Don’t be surprised that do this just to appear larger, and hence, scare off predators. Sometimes, when feeling scared, the red pandas may also defend themselves using their sharp claws.

Whenever a fox bear raises its hands in your presence, do not get too close.  

Read Also – Why Do Red Pandas Put Their Hands Up? 

3. Head Bobbing/Tail Arching

As a way of putting up a defense, a red panda may arch its back and tail. They also shake their heads from side to side and clap their jaws. 

Sometimes, an aggressive red panda may slowly raise and lower its head while releasing a low-intensity sound.

Although the red pandas are not aggressive animals, they can show aggression during the mating season.

Do Red Pandas Interact With Giant Pandas?

A Red Panda Sleeping Alone On The Tree

No, the red pandas do not interact with the giant pandas because of their nature.

Apart from sharing the same favorite diet – bamboo, the red pandas and giant pandas are solitary animals.

Except during the breeding season, the red pandas do not interact with one another. Often, they spend their days eating bamboo and sleeping. If a red panda senses the presence of others, it will climb on a tree. 

Sometimes, the fox bears mark their territory by releasing a liquid from their scent glands.

Same as the red pandas, the giant pandas do not relate with one another and other animal species. Surprisingly, they have a heightened sense of smell that allows them to sense other pandas and avoid them.

Funnily, if two giant pandas come in contact with each other, they’ll fight each other till one gets tired and runs. It is not common to see giant pandas playing together except during the breeding season.

So, it’s not surprising that the red pandas and the giant pandas do not interact since they are both loners.

Final Thoughts

Now, we’ve come to the final part of this article. Keep a few key points in mind before you leave.

All we’ve discussed so far is that the red pandas communicate verbally and non-verbally. When communicating verbally, the red pandas may hiss, twitter, whistle, “huff quack” or bark.

Non-verbal communication includes scent marking, putting the hands up, head bobbing, and tail arching.

Keep in mind that each mode of the red pandas’ communication has a unique meaning.

Finally, the red pandas and giant pandas do not interact because they are both solitary animals.

To learn more about the red pandas and giant pandas, check out this article Are Giant Pandas And Red Pandas Related?