According to, pandas have the same general structure and body shape as other members of the bear species. Because of their diet of tough bamboo, which requires a lot of chewing, they have large molars and jaw muscles that make their heads very round and large.

Unlike other bears, the front paws have six digits. The sixth digit is an extension of the wrist bone that forms an opposable "thumb" analogue that the panda uses during eating to hold the bamboo stalks. Pandas also have a very thick and tough esophagus that allows them to swallow the splintery bamboo without injury.