Friday, September 30, 2011

Red Pandas Were Pandas Before Being A Panda Was Cool

Red pandas are like your friend in college who claimed he listened to bands before they got big. They were named "panda" before giant pandas took panda coolness maintstream:
Red pandas exist in the shadow of giant pandas, but they were actually the first animals to be called "panda." In the past, red pandas have been classified with the bear family (which includes giant pandas) and with procyonids (a family that includes raccoons). Today, they are classified as the sole species in family Ailuridae.
And as these new pictures from the National Zoo show, red pandas can be just as cute as giant pandas, without being all in your face (or rip your face off) about it:

UPDATE: Twitter's @MarineGJ also points out the National Zoo's red panda cam
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