The panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, lit. "black and white cat-foot"),also known as the giant panda to distinguish it from the unrelated red panda, is a bear native to south central China. It has an insatiable appetite for bamboo and eats for a full 12 or 24 hours. The panda has the digestive system of a carnivore, it derives little energy from its diet of bamboo. The giant panda is an endangered species. lt.