This marks the end of our Uncommon Creatures adventure this month. To say goodbye, we have this little red panda, which is better known, but becoming increasingly more uncommon. Just last year, these poor little creatures moved to “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This cute critter is also referred to as a lesser panda, red bear-cat, and red cat-bear. Those latter terms, I guess, are similar to the Crayola® conundrum as kids when trying to decipher whether to use orange-red vs. red-orange. And after all that naming fuss, it’s not a cat or a bear at all. Though it has been classified as a relative of the panda and raccoon, its currently considered part of its own unique family: the Ailuridae.

Though classified as a carnivore, they don’t really eat meat, preferring to snack on bamboo and the occasional insect. In an odd 2009 study in The Journal of Heredity, it was discovered red pandas also like fake sugar like Nutrasweet and Equal. This is apparently significant in that it makes the red panda the only non-primate species who can taste aspartame. It was previously thought the only animals who could taste this questionable artificial sweetener were Old World monkeys, apes, and well, of course, humans.

Red pandas are about the same size as a domestic cat, but their long raccon-like tails can add as much as 18 inches (45.7cm) to their length. They also like to escape zoos and have escaped from many, including a zoo in Rotterdam in 1978. Even though the poor creature was found dead shortly after the escape, locals continue to report sightings of the critter. It was believed by researchers that people expected to see a red panda, so they saw one, leading them to name the phenomenon the Red Panda Effect. And so concludes our doodlewash adventure of Uncommon Creatures this month. Stay tuned tomorrow for a brand new adventure as we go on another journey together in April!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink and second pen with black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

50 replies on “The Red Panda

  1. Oh he’s so adorable – you’ve made me go on another Google image spree – and looks rather sombre in the eyes; fitting on a couple of counts. Love those pads on his little waving paw! And I’ve learnt that these aren’t quite the size I thought they were. It’s been a weird but wonderful journey, Charles. I’m intrigued to see what’s coming next!

    Haha, the Crayola conundrum. Too true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the laugh today, Charlie! 😜 The Red Panda effect – go figure! Haha! Cute little guy and it looks like he is waving goodbye! 🙋 Look forward to what magic you have on your paintbrush for April! 🎨❤️🌟💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww, I’m waving goodbye to this months amazing doodlewash too, but I don’t think I look as cute as this gorgeous panda….on the up, it’s the first of a new month, no pressure, your Irish luck will always make it good, can’t wait to see what it will be 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another wonderful painting, love the soulful if not sorrowful eyes…and the uplifted paw has me all choked up at the moment. Love the painting, love the subject, just want to build a haven for red pandas in my parlor. Thank you for a fantastic journey Charlie…now I must find my box of tissues to dab my eyes. Looking forward to your next adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Journey’s End

    Goodby, it’s time to fly
    say the critters of the sky
    Adios, ,yassou and so long
    say the creatures of the land
    let us thrive where we belong
    Adieu, ciao, let us be
    say the denizens of the sea
    All God’s creations enthrall
    those both great and small
    blessings from above
    Must be treated with love.

    Thank you Charlie ‘O
    for giving the endangered a voice
    in your beautiful watercolor show!

    Liked by 2 people

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