Ailurus fulgens

Red pandas weigh between 6 and 13 pounds, have a head and body length of 22 to 24 inches and a bushy tail measuring 14 to 18 inches. The body is covered with long reddish-brown fur on the upper parts and blackish fur on the lower parts. They have a light face with dark tear markings, and a light-ringed tail. The roundish head has medium-sized upright white tipped ears, a black nose, and very dark eyes. The legs are short, and the soles of the feet are covered with dense hair and have curved semi-retractable claws. The front paws are equipped with a 'false thumb,' that is really an extension of the wrist bone to assist in holding bamboo and climbing trees like the Giant Panda.

The eastern species may be somewhat larger and darker in color than those found in the western area.