Bamboozled

Field Facts:

Fact #1 - Scientists believe that the Chinese people were the first civilization to make sugar from the sugarcane plant. Today, it is the world's largest crop. Sugarcane is a tall grass that grows in the south and southwestern regions of China and other tropical regions of South Asia. The main product of sugarcane is sucrose that can be made into sugar. It also can be fermented and made into ethanol, a liquid fuel that can be used in car engines. Which makes it double trouble for thieving Litterbugs!

Fact #2 - Bamboo is "green" in more ways than one. It is considered a grass, just like the sugar cane plant, but it needs no watering. It rarely needs to be replanted and the trees grow quickly and can be harvested in 3-5 years.

Photo Credit: Paul Vlaar

Fact #3 - Bamboo trees produce 35% more oxygen than other types of trees. This is a very important way that nature helps to keep our air clean by balancing the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That's good news for China, because they have a problem with smoggy air pollution.

Photo credit: United States Library of Congress/Public Domain

Fact #4 - Sweet-tasting bamboo shoots are the favorite meal of Panda bears like Lucky. Talk about fast food! Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. One plant can grow up to 39 inches (100 cm) in 24 hours!

Fact #5 - Giant pandas are white and have black fur on their ears, around their eyes, muzzle, legs and shoulders. They are good tree climbers and can also swim to escape predators. Pandas use an enlarged wrist bone that looks like a thumb to grasp objects like bamboo.

Photo Credit: Fernando Revilla

Fact #6 - Historically, pandas have lived mostly in the mountainous and lowland regions of Central and Southwestern China.

Fact #7 - As of 2013, an estimated 1,600 pandas remain in the wild and 200 live in captivity.

Fact #8 - The Great Wall of China is very old. The first parts were built in the 7th century BC and were used as border defenses against intruders.

 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Fact #9 - Over time, the Great Wall was built and rebuilt many times. The latest construction took place in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the length was over 3,700 miles (6,000 km).

Fact #10 - If all the walls built in the different dynasties around China were added together, the total length would exceed 31,000 miles (50,000 km). That's more than the circumference of the earth at the equator, which is 24,901.55 miles (40,075.16 km). Wow! That's a lot of bricks and stones. The ancient Chinese people were busier than a Litterbug in a sugarcane factory!

Now that you have the facts, it's time to start your engines, Beans. We've got Litterbugs to catch!

 

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