Smithsonian Book of Giant PandasBook - 2002
The recent arrival of the two giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang at The Smithsonian's National Zoo has created an enormous outpouring of public support for the conservation of this endangered species. The first step in attempting to ensure a future for giant pandas is understanding both their history and their current relationship with people. Susan Lumpkin and John Seidensticker present this multi-photographed, resonant natural history, sharing their personal experiences of working with giant pandas in the United States and China. The authors begin by examining the intertwined relationship between giant pandas and people, exploring how these striking animals became icons of goodwill between nations. Looking further back in time, the authors examine the fossil record to trace the evolution of giant pandas, explaining how their strict diet of bamboo has shaped their past and will continue to shape their future in the wild. The rim of the Sichuan Basin in central China - home of the giant panda - is a wonder of biodiversity; a sampling of the region's animals and plants is followed by a history of the environmental changes caused by humans.