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All Images

Discovery
Born To Be Wild: Releasing Captive-bred Pandas

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Image of panda sitting in the grass

Cherubic charm: Pandas get their cuteness from their facial roundness--which is partly created by their strong jaw muscles and large, crushing molars--as well as from their Mickey Mouse-like ears, oval eye patches and roly-poly bodies.

Credit: Sue Nichols, Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability


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a panda climbing a tree in wolong china

A real tree-hugger. This panda is in "boot camp" in Wolong. Pandas stay warm and dry because their fur is wooly and waterproof.

Credit: Sue Nichols, Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability.


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closeup of bamboo leaves

A monotonous menu: Bamboo accounts for 99 percent of a wild panda's diet. Pandas may also eat grasses, the occasional small rodent and musk deer fawns.

Credit: Sue Nichols, Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability


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Man wearing panda suit walking toward a baby panda in a tree

And the "best dressed" award goes to... Panda keepers in Wolong wear panda suits so that baby pandas won't recognize them as people and lose their fear of humans.

Credit: Sue Nichols, Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability


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researcher watchin a panda in wolong

Man and panda: MSU researcher Jianguo "Jack" Liu, director of the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, watches a Wolong panda.

Credit: Sue Nichols, Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability


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closeup of a panda's face

This panda's face suggests, "I'm ready for my close-up!"

Credit: Kurt Stepnitz, Michigan State University


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