Author Topic: Red panda classification  (Read 825 times)

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Offline Polaris

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Red panda classification
« on: August 21, 2006, 02:10:53 pm »
Taken from Wikipedia.

"The Red Panda was formerly classified in the raccoon family (Procyonidae), but now many experts, including Wilson and Reeder (1993), classify it as either a member of the bear family (Ursidae) or in its own family (Ailuridae). The most recent DNA research places the Red Panda in a family within the superfamily Musteloidea (which also contains the mustelid, skunk and raccoon families)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_panda

For some reason The idea of a red panda being in the racoon family never realy set well with me.
They seem more like bears to me than they do a racoon.

Anyone have any thoughts about it?
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Offline Taris Quickpaw

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Re: Red panda classification
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2006, 06:06:55 pm »
1) not much you can do about genetics.

2) your pic there is awsome :D
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Offline Flinch

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Re: Red panda classification
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2006, 05:33:31 pm »
Most of the animal books I have (which is a lot, as I plan to become a Zoologist) group the Red Panda with the raccoon family. I remember reading that people weren't sure how to classify it when I was in 5th grade, but that was years ago. Most recent animal books group the Red Panda with the raccoon family.

I think it makes sense for the Red Panda to be a member of the raccoon family. They seem very similar. Then again, weasels and mongoose seem very similar, but they are members of different families, so similarities don't really mean anything. However, if it is within the superfamily Musteloidea then perhaps it is not a member of the raccoon family, but a very close cousin and a member of its own family, like the Aardvark.

Hmm, what strikes me as interesting about that excerpt is that the root Ailuros means cat, but it's used for Ailuridae.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2006, 05:37:23 pm by Flinch »
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