Panda Updates – Wednesday, September 27
There is a good chance that when you visit the giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta, or tune into PandaCam online, you catch the bears in one of their many daily naps. Pandas sometimes get labeled as “lazy” animals due to their sleepy nature, but their sleeping patterns are expected from a carnivore whose diet consists primarily of bamboo. Pandas are indeed classified as carnivores, and after many years of researching, scientists have come up with a few speculations as to why pandas choose to eat bamboo. However, there is not currently a concrete answer to that question. Pandas’ digestive systems are designed to break down meat, not plant material, so they only digest a small portion of what they eat to convert to energy. Ya Lun and Xi Lun, like other young mammals, are still developing and growing so they need all the rest they can get. Sleeping almost all day is completely normal behavior for cubs their age. Once they get older and start eating bamboo more, they will begin breaking up their day full of napping with eating, playing, and then napping again. After that, they will wake up, eat, play, and then nap again. They sure do have a nice routine around here!
Swing Keeper I, Mammals
(photo by Danica W.)