With such an unusual arrangement, it is inevitable that pandas struggle to breed in captivity. This species has been around for some 20 million years. See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights. They have an intense and productive sex drive. With adaptations like these, the giant panda has performed a remarkable evolutionary switcheroo. In 1984, the National Zoo’s Ling-Ling bit a keeper.Generally keepers do not enter the pandas’ enclosures when the animals are there. In 1981, he'd been tracking a female called Zhen-Zhen, as were two male pandas – one large, one small. Yes, they will. If it's the captive panda you are interested in, then the fluffy, sneezing, clownish, reproductively-inept stereotype stands. About half of them were to do with appearance: flat face, large eyes, soft appearance, rounded outline, contrasting colours and so on. If you are still clinging to the panda-bad-sex stereotype, there is one more truth about pandas that you need to digest. In just over three hours, Schaller recorded the large male mating with Zhen-Zhen at least 48 times, roughly once every three minutes. Attacks on humans are relatively unusual. A panda can deliver one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore. This species, in one shape or form, has been around for some 20 million years. This burden far outweighs what we really know about this species in the wild. They have a dangerously powerful bite and an intense sex drive. Reality: They are cute, for sure. There are photos here, but they are very, very ugly. Chomp chomp chomp." It is a carnivore that has found a way to eat bamboo, a food source that is pretty dependable from one season to the next. You've been warned. There is a lot of confusion about giant pandas, possibly more than any other species alive. Pandas rely primarily on spatial memory rather than visual memory. That, boys and girls, is the definition of good at sex. But it is on the subject of sex where the reputation of captive pandas is at greatest odds with the reality in the wild. It was the legendary zoologist George Schaller who made some of the first observations of real, wild panda sex. Click to see full answer. In 2006, a drunken 28-year-old man by the name of Zhang clambered into the panda enclosure at Beijing Zoo and tried to pet the internee. The new European data protection law requires us to inform you of the following before you use our website: We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. Panda bears teeth are very strong they are like a canines teeth pandas could bite through bamboo. Simply so, do pandas harm humans? We humans have only been studying giant pandas in the wild since 1980 and we still have so much to learn. But appearances can be deceptive and it would be a mistake to get too close to a wild panda. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. While people are not on their diet, they COULD bite and scratch. But if they are frightened or feel pain or discomfort, they will suddenly bite people when there is no way to escape, which is basically a reflex action. Eating bamboo is a blinding evolutionary strategy. This is the anchor point for a massive chewing muscle that can deliver one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore. Wild pandas are nothing like their captive counterparts. This is because of the absolutely massive symbolic, political and economic baggage that is heaped on captive pandas. Read about our approach to external linking. Giant pandas have a peculiar reproductive cycle, with adult females becoming fertile just once a year for less than two days. But don't go in for a cuddle; pandas can deliver one heck of a bite. Will Wild Pandas Bite Humans? Most of it is wrong. Tweet: The giant panda delivers one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore, Tweet: The giant panda spends around 55% of its life collecting, preparing and eating bamboo, Tweet: In the wild, giant panda sex usually involves one female and two or more males, Tweet: In the wild, a female panda may mate over 50 times in a matter of hours, more than most humans get in a year, View image of Pandas have the guts of carnivores, but eat bamboo (Credit: Pete Oxford/NPL), View image of Come on, you can take this animal seriously (Credit: Lynn M. Stone/NPL), View image of Wild pandas don't behave like captive ones (Credit: Papilio/Alamy), one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore, View image of "Chomp. A long-term study of radio-collared pandas in the Qingling Mountains in Shaanxi Province revealed that females reliably give birth every other year and 60% of cubs survive to see in their first birthday. Like other bears, they have teeth and claws. (Credit: Will Burrard-Lucas/NPL), View image of This male panda is literally watching panda pornography (Credit: Eric Baccega/NPL), View image of Wild giant pandas can do this dozens of times an hour (Credit: Gavin Maxwell/NPL), On the basis of its reproductive potential, the giant panda therefore remains an evolutionarily successful species, View image of Pandas, as a species, have survived much longer than humans (Credit: Edwin Giesbergs/NPL), The giant panda delivers one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore, The giant panda spends around 55% of its life collecting, preparing and eating bamboo, In the wild, giant panda sex usually involves one female and two or more males, In the wild, a female panda may mate over 50 times in a matter of hours, more than most humans get in a year. People and Pandas play-biting This may be yesterday's news, but the pictures China Daily added of the guy's injuries are awesome: BEIJING - A drunken Chinese migrant worker jumped into a panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo, was bitten by the bear and retaliated by chomping down on the animal's back, state media said Wednesday. Please enable cookies on your web browser in order to continue. What is undeniably true is that pandas are striking animals. Reputation: Giant pandas are cute and harmless, with an amusing habit of sneezing. Do pandas have flat teeth? Such injuries are possible because of the giant panda's incredibly chunky skull and Mohican-like sagittal crest. We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. This intensity and frequency of sexual congress may account for the observation that pandas are so much more productive in the wild than they are in captivity. Though the panda is often assumed to be docile, it has been known to attack humans, presumably out of irritation rather than aggression.. Pandas are bears. The panda needs this impressive bite if it is to crack its way into the tough sheath of a bamboo stem. The giant panda usually has docile personality. You also agree to our Terms of Service. In 1966, the zoologist Desmond Morris put forward 20 factors to explain the human obsession with pandas. Even in captivity, where pandas are used to being cooed over by humans, they can be dangerous. Because giant pandas eat bamboo, their teeth are sharp, and the intruder may be hurt badly. The birth of tiny twin pandas to the National Zoo’s Mei Xiang was cause for national celebration this weekend (we are, after all, are the country that practically went into … But from what we can tell, pandas do sex very, very differently in the wild. See our, Read a limited number of articles each month, You consent to the use of cookies and tracking by us and third parties to provide you with personalized ads, Unlimited access to washingtonpost.com on any device, Unlimited access to all Washington Post apps, No on-site advertising or third-party ad tracking. Except, of course, those proficient in kung fu. They do not deserve to go extinct. But to smirk at the diminutive size of the male panda's winkie, to mock the female panda for being frigid and to propose the species only has itself to blame for its endangered status is nothing short of biological ignorance. It turns out that threesome or more-somes are pretty standard for giant pandas in the wild, an arrangement that would be hard to replicate in any zoo. This division between captive and wild pandas is important. We rely on readers like you to uphold a free press. Take a deep breath and purge your mind of everything you think you know about giant pandas. But if it's the truth about wild pandas you're after, then you need to shut down the panda-cam, take a deep breath and purge your mind of everything you think you know about giant pandas.