Life as We Know It
Octopuses, Dinosaurs, Pandas and More...
- By Abby Callard, T.A. Frail, Megain Gambino, Abigail Tucker, Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, February 2010
(Jessie Cohen / NZP, SI)
Giant pandas live rather solitary lives. When it's time to mate, males and females locate one another through scent. Then the female makes chirping noises. Now researchers in China have found the chirps are longer and harsher when the females are most fertile. Males may have an ear for such bleats and time mating attempts accordingly.
Learn more about the giant panda at the Encyclopedia of Life.
“Female giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) chirps advertise the caller’s fertile phase,” Benjamin D. Charlton et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, December 2, 2009.
“Kin recognition: Competition and cooperation in Impatiens (Balsaminaceae), Guillermo P. Murphy and Susan A. Dudley, American Journal of Botany, October 23, 2009.
“A Complete Skeleton of a Late Triassic Saurischian and the Early Evolution of Dinosaurs,” Sterling J. Nesbitt et al., Science, December 11, 2009.
“Contemporary Evolution of Reproductive Isolation and Phenotypic Divergence in Sympatry along a Migratory Divide,” Gregor Rolshausen et al., Current Biology, December 29, 2009.
“Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus,” Julian K. Finn et al., Current Biology, December 15, 2009.
Giant pandas photo gallery at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park Web site.