What’s Behind The ‘Easy Going’ Life Of The Panda ?

Pandas have been engaging scientists for decades with their ability to be so easy-going. Either one will see pandas making babies or dodging poachers in the wild otherwise they will be found lazing away, munching on bamboos.

Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing published a new study in the journal Science. The study conducted showed that giant pandas expend 38% same energy as compared to other creatures of the same body mass. It is surprising that they move so slow and also maintain a low metabolism.

Wild pandas only spend 50%of their time moving or engaging in some sort of physical activity. When pandas rummage around for food they go no further than 50 feet per hour, which researchers have termed as ‘very low’.

The study included researchers examining five captive pandas and three wild ones for a full year. Researchers used GPS trackers and also analyzed panda’s poops for chemicals through which they were able to measure the amount of energy the pandas spent each day.

Much to the researchers surprise pandas only used up about 38% of the energy that another animal of the same size would require.

Senior author of the study Fuwen Wei, who is a professor of zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing states that they believed that the metabolism of the panda was low because of its main diet bamboo containing very low energy, however when compared to the three-toes sloth or the koala it exceptionally low.

Researchers also found another supporting factor other than this highly evolved behavior, that biology also plays a vital role in lowering the metabolism of the panda.

When scientists studied the autopsies of pandas they saw low-energy wetware inside their huge bodies. More so in the panda’s livers, kidneys and even their brains are smaller than those of other bears. All these factors contribute to the saving up of energy, including their metabolic-managing thyroid hormones are also lower than those seen in other similarly sized mammals. According to the researchers, the levels were lower than even those in hibernating black bears.

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