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15 animals that are living fossils

By: Bryan Nelson on Aug. 16, 2010, 12:25 p.m.
Red panda

Photo: Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr

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Red panda

Hailing from the temperate forests of the Himalayas, these adorable creatures are the only surviving members of the family Ailuridae.

Despite the name, red pandas are barely related to the giant panda. They represent a lineage that more closely marks a cross section of bears and skunks, weasels and raccoons. They are truly in a world all their own.

Their association with the giant panda may have to do with the animals' similar diets, which includes a lot of bamboo, than it does any sort of evolutionary relationship.