Scientific name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca
meaning "black and white cat-foot"
Chinese name translates literally to "big bear cat".
For many years, the Giant Panda was thought to be a member of the Procyonidae
family (racoons), but more recent genetic testing suggests that they really are true bears and part of the Ursidae
family. Unlike other bears, they are primarily herbivorous, eating mostly bamboo, but sometimes other foods such as honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges and bananas when available. Interestingly enough, they still have the digestive system of a carnivore, meaning they don't process cellulose particularly efficiently. This means they have to eat a LOT of bamboo to derive the necessary nutrition -- an average Giant Panda may eat as much as 9-14 kg (20-30 pounds) of bamboo shoots per day.
Giant Pandas are on the endangered species list and, largely thanks to the World Wildlife Fund, are an icon for wildlife conservation.
Most of all, they're just plain cute.
So if you've got any Giant Panda stamps, let's see 'em. This one is from Mongolia. Issued in 1974, it is one of a seven stamp set of various types of bears.