Sunday, September 05, 2010

Looks more like Rocky Raccoon to me ...

... but this red panda is pretty darned cute by any name.

A red panda (which is not at all like a giant panda

This picture is one of a series called "15 animals that are living fossils," featuring sixteen slides but who's counting, and it's well worth a look. Here's what they have to say about the little one above:

Hailing from the temperate forests of the Himalayas, these adorable creatures are the only surviving members of the family Ailuridae.

Despite the name, red pandas are barely related to the giant panda. They represent a lineage that more closely marks a cross section of bears and skunks, weasels and raccoons. They are truly in a world all their own.

Their association with the giant panda may have to do with the animals' similar diets, which includes a lot of bamboo, than it does any sort of evolutionary relationship.

Not all of the "living fossils" will give you a warm fuzzy. The purple frog? The mantis shrimp? The hagfish ("the only living animals that have a skull but not a vertebral column")? The goblin shark? Whoa. Way cool, even if not unanimously cuddly. But there are koalas. And no end of interesting-looking related links. So click on over.


(h/t: KK, via email)

1 comment:

Ocean said...