The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is distributed primarily in the Himalayas and southern China.
It is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The aim of this study was to describe the normal osteology and radiographic anatomy of the
thoracic limb of the red panda. Radiography of the right thoracic limb was performed in seven
captive adult red pandas. Radiographic findings were correlated with bone specimens from
three adult animals. The scapula was wide craniocaudally and presented with a large area
for the origin of the teres major muscle. The square-shaped major tubercle did not extend
proximal to the head of the humerus. The medial epicondyle was prominent. A supracondylar
foramen was present. The radial tuberosity and sesamoid bone for the abductor digiti I longus
were prominent. The accessory carpal bone was directed palmarolaterally. Metacarpal bones
were widely spread. The thoracic limb morphology of the red panda evidenced by osteology
and radiography indicated flexibility of the thoracic limb joints and well-developed flexor
and supinator muscles, which are important in arboreal quadrupedal locomotion. Knowledge
gained during this study may prove useful in identifying skeletal material or remains and
diagnosing musculoskeletal diseases and injuries of the thoracic limb.