Red Panda

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Temperature influences the red panda’s sleeping posture as it maintains a tight curl during cold weather but stretches along branches with legs dangling during hot weather.

Red pandas rest and sleep in trees or other elevated surfaces most frequently, and in nature are said to use evergreens as nest sites. They exhibit a polyphasic activity pattern throughout the night. Activity patterns change throughout the year in response to temperature, feeding regimes, and presence of young.

Sleeping and resting postures range from prone extension with legs straddling a branch to a tightly curled posture with the head tucked under a hindleg. Temperature and humidity influence the posture adopted, presumably to alter heat conductance. Animals maintain a tightly curled posture during cold weather but stretch their bodies along branches with their legs dangling during hot weather.

Adults rarely sleep in contact with one another; however, a mother and her young and nest-bound siblings in the absence of their mother do so frequently.

Sources: (Hodgson, 1847; Roberts & Gittleman, 1984)
Image: Mathias Appel

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