Temporal range: Late Pliocene to Recent
|The giant panda, the only extant species in the genus and subfamily.|
|Ailuropoda fovealis skull|
Only one species—Ailuropoda melanoleuca—currently exists; the other four species are prehistoric chronospecies. Despite its taxonomic classification as a carnivoran, the giant panda has a diet that is primarily herbivorous, which consists almost exclusively of bamboo.
In 2011 fossil teeth from over 11 mya found in the Iberian peninsula were identified as belonging to a previously unidentified species in the Ailuropodinae. This species was named Agriarctos beatrix.
- †Ailuropoda microta Pei, 1962 (late Pliocene)
- †Ailuropoda wulingshanensis Wang et alii. 1982 (late Pliocene - early Pleistocene)
- †Ailuropoda baconi (Woodward 1915) (Pleistocene)
- †Ailuropoda minor Pei, 1962 (Pleistocene)
- Ailuropoda melanoleuca (David, 1869)
Formerly, the red, or lesser, panda (Ailurus fulgens) was considered closely related to giant pandas. It is no longer considered a bear, however, and is now classified as the sole living representative of a different carnivore family (Ailuridae).
- Jin, Changzhu; Russell L. Ciochon, Wei Dong, Robert M. Hunt Jr., Jinyi Liu, Marc Jaeger and Qizhi Zhu (June 19, 2007). "The first skull of the earliest giant panda" (PDF; fee required). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104 (26): 10932–10937. doi:10.1073/pnas.0704198104. PMC 1904166. PMID 17578912. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
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