Nutritional Strategy of Giant Pandas in the Qinling Mountains of China

Yu Long, Zhi Lü, Dajun Wang, Xiaojian Zhu, Hao Wang, Yingyi Zhang and Wenshi Pan

in Giant Pandas

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238671
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930162 | DOI:
Nutritional Strategy of Giant Pandas in the Qinling Mountains of China

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This chapter addresses the dietary and nutritional information initially reported by Schaller et al. for giant pandas from Wolong. Captive feeding demonstrates that pandas may be capable of more flexibility in food consumption than one might see at a given field site. Moreover, the chapter presents an in-depth analysis of animal and bamboo feeding from data collected in the Qinling Mountains during more than ten years of effort. The selectiveness seen in their feeding behavior reflects in part the adaptation of giant pandas to a bamboo niche. Utilization of special nutrients, such as hemicellulose and cellulose, is considered. A brief report that discusses the cognitive processes used in locating food is then offered. It shows that giant pandas would rank fairly high on any animal intelligence scale, and cites research illustrating that such perceptions strongly influence support for their conservation.

Keywords: giant pandas; Wolong; Qinling Mountains; China; feeding; diet; hemicelluloses; cellulose; conservation

Chapter.  5059 words. 

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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