About 99 percent of the giant panda's daily diet consists of nothing but the leaves and stems of bamboo plants, which are indigenous to its home in the forests of China. Because bamboo has very little nutritional value, the panda must consume up to 40 pounds of bamboo a day to maintain proper nutrition. Eating bamboo is also no easy task. The stalks of the plant are thick and hard, but the panda has adapted large molar teeth and strong jaws for crushing and masticating the plant. The animal also gets most of its water from eating bamboo, though it must also drink from streams. Pandas are extremely dependent on bamboo and must live in areas where bamboo is abundant. They are very vulnerable to habitat loss and have difficulty bouncing back due to an unusually show birth rate.
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