11 Proofs That Red Pandas Are Mammals (Explained!)

I’ve seen red pandas give birth like mammals do. But, their uniqueness makes me doubt if they are truly mammals.

But after my research, here’s what I found out:

Yes, red pandas are mammals from the Himalayan forests. They have all the characteristics of typical mammals like cats, whales, and dogs.

Additionally, there are several things that you may look at to prove that red pandas are mammals. These are the basic characteristics that make them fall under the mammal category.

In this article, I will discuss the major proofs that you should look at:

Now, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

1. Fur-Covered Body

A Furry Red Panda Sitting on a Tree

Hair is one of the most common features that you can spot in mammals. The reddish-brown coat covers a larger part of red pandas’ bodies.

The hair spreads from the face to the tail and legs, serving different purposes, including insulation. In other mammals, the hair works as an insulator too.

Therefore, it is clear that red pandas are mammals due to their hair.

2. Mammary Glands

Most mammals have mammary glands which produce milk for their young ones. Red pandas also have mammary glands, and they use them to feed their young ones milk. 

The presence of these mammary glands proves that red pandas are mammals.

3. Red Pandas are Warm-Blooded

On the other hand, cold-blooded animals cannot move faster. Reptiles give a good example of such slow animals.

Warm-blooded metabolism only exists in mammals. Animals with warm-blooded metabolism can move at very high speeds.

Endothermy means the internal generation of heat. In this case, only mammals can generate heat internally for survival.

Red pandas also maintain a constant body temperature by generating internal heat. In this case, you can classify red pandas as mammals due to this fact.

4. Tooth Replacement

Mammals always replace their temporary teeth with permanent ones to last a lifetime. As a result, it is quite easy to spot a mammal using the teeth-shedding cycles.

Most mammals usually replace their teeth only once in their whole lifetime. Humans are a good example of this since they replace their teeth only once.

In this case, red pandas also replace their teeth only once in their lifetime. This fact automatically makes them fall under the mammal category.

5. Four-Chambered Heart

You can also identify a mammal by looking at the heart structure. All mammals have hearts with four chambers, which is a distinctive feature.

Red pandas have hearts with four chambers; thus, you can categorize them as mammals. On the other hand, you should note that other creatures, like birds, have four-chambered hearts.

However, this doesn’t mean they are mammals, as they lack other major characteristics of mammals.

Take Note:

All mammals have four-chambered hearts. But not every animal with a four-chambered heart is considered a mammal.

6. Live Birth

All mammals give birth to their young ones when it comes to reproduction. Mammals have internal embryonic development, unlike reptiles and other categories that lay eggs.

Such animals have internal fertilization, and the offspring development is the same. In this case, red pandas also show this characteristic regarding reproduction.

Therefore, they automatically fall under mammals.

7. Presence of Diaphragm

Diaphragm is one of the mammals’ most iconic features and helps control the chest cavity. You can only find the diaphragm in mammals since they breathe air naturally.

As a result, if you look closely into the red pandas’ anatomy, you will spot the diaphragm. Therefore, you can categorize them as mammals since no other animal classification has a diaphragm.

8. Nervous System Advancement

The advanced nervous system spreads from the brain to the nerves in the body.

Mammals have this high nervous system development which helps them show different behaviors. To clarify, you can see red pandas climbing trees when predators attack them.

This move is usually a response that indicates an advancement in their nervous system. Additionally, there are sometimes when animals in other classifications have developed nervous systems.

However, they can never be as developed as mammals. As a result, this fact proves that red pandas are mammals automatically.

9. Unique Taxonomic Classification

A Red Panda Climbing Tree-Like Structure at a Zoo

There is a very distinctive taxonomic classification of animals which are mammals.

You can prove that red pandas are mammals since they belong to the taxonomic family Ailuridae. They are also the only living species under the genus Ailurus.

10. Parental Care

Mammals always take care of and defend their young for a long time until they grow. They have the highest parental care compared to other classes of animals.

Reptiles, for example, usually forget about their young ones quickly after hatching. Red pandas usually look after their cubs closely until they can hunt and forage.

Consequently, this fact makes them mammals since very few animals do this.

11. Three Middle Ear Bones

Most mammals have three bones in the middle ear. This feature makes them unique and thus easy to identify.

Since red pandas also have this feature, they automatically fall under mammals. The three bones in red pandas and mammals usually come from the lower jaw and have special functions.

Red pandas can get real-time sound from their surroundings using these bones. No other classification of animals has proven to have these three bones to this date.

Therefore, using the three middle ear bones, you can prove that red pandas are mammals.

Final Thoughts

Red pandas are mammals from the Himalayas region, and there are many facts to prove this. 

Here are some of them: 

  • One-time tooth replacement
  • Hair on their skin
  • Mammary glands
  • Advanced nervous system
  • Internal heat generation capability
  • Three middle ear bones

Red pandas respond to different kinds of stimuli since they are mammals.

In this case, they may run or even respond by trying to fight back once predators attack them. Does this fact mean that red pandas fight?

If they fight, how do they manage to do it successfully? To learn more, check out these 8 facts about how red pandas fight.