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Or, perhaps, it's not a kind at all? A type maybe?

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A panda isn't a kind of a bear or a kind of bear at all. It's a kind of raccoon. – Brian Hooper Jan 15 '11 at 8:52
@Brian Hooper: "A panda isn't a kind of a bear or a kind of bear at all. It's a kind of raccoon." - Are you sure? I was asking this question based on the definition in Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panda and there panda is called a bear – brilliant Jan 15 '11 at 8:56
@Brian: According to Wikipedia, a panda is family ursidae, precisely the bear family. Racoons are in another genus and family (procyonidae) altogether. – ShreevatsaR Jan 15 '11 at 10:09
Genetic studies have only put the giant panda in the bear family in the last 25 years. Before that, it was indeed considered to be part of the raccoon family. Who would've thought such knowledge could go out of date! – chimp Jan 15 '11 at 12:35
@All, thank you. I stand corrected. I must try to keep up. – Brian Hooper Jan 15 '11 at 19:06
up vote 4 down vote accepted
  • A panda is a kind of bear.

  • Pandas are a kind of bear.

  • "Panda" is a kind of bear.

(Saying "type" in place of "kind" would work equally well in these examples.)

But not:

  • *Panda is a kind of bear.
  • *Panda is a kind of a bear

(Saying "a panda is kind of a bear" would be a colloquial way of saying that is in some way like a bear, but isn't one really.)

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Thank you, Psmears!!! – brilliant Jan 15 '11 at 10:56

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