Pandas are mammals and belong to the bear family. They are often referred to as “giant pandas” and “panda bears”. While they are technically bears, they typically eat bamboo. In fact, bamboo makes up more than 90% of their diet. Pandas are considered an endangered species, but due partially to the protective status, the population is on the rise. There are anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 pandas in existence, according to various reports. Virtually all pandas live in China, with less than 30 living outside of the country in foreign zoos.
Though they are bears, pandas do not hibernate. They share a body type with other bears, but their round face and black and white coloring distinguish them.
The origin of the name panda is still unknown. Early Chinese writings refer to the bears as “spotted bears” and “bamboo bears”. Very little early artwork depicts pandas, and it is hard to know when the animal’s existence was widely known.
Pandas are very common in popular culture today with the animal used in logos and characters for TV and film. The popular film series Kung Fu Panda has gained much fame among Children and families for the bear. The leading character in that film, Po, is a giant panda and is voiced by Jack Black.
You can read more about Pandas at WikiPedia.