The Giant Panda
Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)Wolong Research Centre, Sichuan, China.
It may be cold, and there may not be much new growth about to eat, but a giant panda does not hibernate. Giant pandas are biologically unique. They are closely related to bears and have the digestive system of a carnivore, but they have adapted to a vegetarian diet and depend almost exclusively on bamboo as a food source. Not designed to process plant matter, the panda's digestive system cannot easily break down the cellulose in bamboo, so pandas must eat huge amounts – as much as 40 kg (83 pounds), for up to 14 hours, each day.