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Giant PandasBiology and Conservation$
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Donald Lindburg

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238671

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238671.001.0001

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Nutritional Strategy of Giant Pandas in the Qinling Mountains of China

Nutritional Strategy of Giant Pandas in the Qinling Mountains of China

(p.90) 6 Nutritional Strategy of Giant Pandas in the Qinling Mountains of China
Giant Pandas

Yu Long

Zhi Lü

Dajun Wang

Xiaojian Zhu

Hao Wang

Yingyi Zhang

Wenshi Pan

University of California Press

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

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