When we talk about pandas, the first thing we think of must be their black and white coat color, then their fat bodies, round faces and their cuteness.
But, does anyone still remember what a panda’s tail look like ? Perhaps someone may ask, “what, does a panda have a tail?”
The weight of a newborn panda is generally between 120 and 160g, and the body length is from 13 to 16 cm. Their tail and body length ratio is about 1/4. When they become adults, they weigh from 80 to 120kg and have a body length of 1.2~1.8m, yet the growth rate of their tail is far slower than that of the body.
At this time, their tail length accounts for less than 1/10 of the body length. On a chubby body, it appears to be quite inconspicuous. And usually, the tail is low and close to the buttocks, and it cannot swing like other animals do (such as cats and dogs) to express their emotions. In turn, the “appearance rate” of the tail is much lower. It is easier to be ignored by us.
Although the tail of a panda cannot be used to express emotions, it is by no means useless. In the world of pandas, the tail has a very important role.
The panda’s tail is short, but the hair on it is furry and it looks very fluffy. There is a hairless exposed area in the base of the tail, which contains many glands. This gland is called the perianal gland and secretes a secretion with a sour smell.
Adult pandas have a strong sense of territoriality. They use their rough, brush-like tails to smear scented marks on stumps, walls, on the ground, and often in different places. These marks allow other pandas evade when they pass through the areas.
During the estrus period, through the scent, a female panda can also tell a male panda that it is ready for mating. Male pandas can find it through this unique “GPS navigation system”.
The small tail of a panda plays a big role in the construction of the panda family’s civilized system. Its silent communication is almost vocal. (P.S. : The panda’s tail is white!)