While I was browsing on google, I happen to stumble upon an interesting question – Are all pandas born female?
Here’s what I found out!
No, all pandas are not born female. In fact, they are born either male or female, but their gender is not known while they are in the womb.
Pandas are given birth before you can identify their gender.
However, the gender of a panda whether male or female is not identified at birth. If not carefully checked, the gender of a panda might take a few weeks before it is discovered.
Nevertheless, there is a sure way to determine the gender of a panda without stressing yourself much.
If you are wondering, how can I tell if a panda is male or female?
How To Tell If a Panda is Male Or Female?
The best way to determine a panda’s gender is by conducting a DNA test. Since their outward genitals are not so visible till months after birth, this is the best method.
To do this, veterinary experts take a cheek swab from the panda. They look out for any trace of the zinc finger protein gene in the panda.
If the DNA sequence turns out to be an X and Y chromosome, then it’s a male panda.
However, if the DNA sequence is an X and X chromosome, it’s a female panda.
Additionally, the gender of a panda is determined by the outward shape of its genitals and anus. The shape of the genitals looks like an inverted letter V.
Therefore, if the panda cub’s genitals look like an inverted V, it is most likely to be a female.
Determining whether a panda is male is done differently. This is because their features are not similar.
The male panda has a little bump that forms into a penis as the panda grows. It is possible to identify this protruding bump in the lower part of the panda; in the pelvic region.
As the giant male panda matures to 20 years and above, it becomes easier to identify their gender. You can touch the testicles which have become little lumps in their pelvic regions.
The male pandas bear a special name. This name is unique and can only be used for male pandas.
If you are wondering, what are male and female pandas called, then here’s your answer!
What are Male Pandas Called?
Male pandas are called “Boars”. They are characterized by a large head, round ears, short tail, and fat body.
Male pandas are part of the family Ursidae and are primarily herbivores.
If you look at the giant pandas, you will easily notice their vertical slits and cat-like eyeballs. This makes them look cute and lovable.
Their strange eyeballs made the Chinese refer to them as “giant cat bears”.
Also, male pandas weigh about 85-125 kg (187-276 Ib) which is a bit larger than their female counterparts. This is almost equal to the weight of a full-fledged adult.
Interestingly, a male panda has a short tail that is barely noticeable. It is about 16 cm (6.3 inches) long and could barely measure up to the panda’s full body.
Since you know what the male pandas are called, what are the female pandas called?
What are Female Pandas Called?
Female pandas are called “Sows”. Just like the male pandas, the female pandas belong to the family “Ursidae” and are herbivores.
When it comes to sizing, the female pandas are relatively smaller and weigh lesser than the male pandas. They weigh 80 kg (176 Ib)
A female panda is territorial, unlike the male pandas. Each female panda owns a given territory and does not share this range with another panda.
Their territory could be up to 1.8 square miles while the male pandas own a range of 3.3 square miles.
However, male pandas are found in the territory of female pandas, especially during the mating season.
In addition, the female panda’s kick starts their reproductive processes within 6-7 years of age. As time goes on, they reproduce panda cubs at a 2-year interval.
Their mating period starts in March and ends in May, which is a space of two months. They reproduce their young ones in a hollow tree after five months of pregnancy.
Male and Female Pandas – What’s the Difference?
Although the male and female pandas are of similar species, there are differences between them. They include:
When it comes to maturity, they mature at different stages of their life. Female pandas mature faster than male pandas.
While the male pandas sexually mature at seven years of age, the female pandas come to sexual maturity at seven years of age.
However, other factors determine the maturity of male pandas. One of them is their environment and habitat.
Male pandas in captivity tend to mature faster than pandas living in the wild. This is because the male pandas in captivity are exposed to healthier nutrition and a better environment.
A look at the male and female pandas tells us that the male pandas are larger than their female counterparts.
In length, an adult male panda could be 155-190 cm (64-76 inches). While the male pandas have longer body stature, stronger legs, and weigh 20% more, the female pandas are less.
When found in the wild, the male pandas weigh between 86-125 kilograms ( 189-275 Ib). On the other hand, the female pandas weigh up to 70-100 kg i.e. 154-220 Ib.
As supposed, the panda cub weighs just about 85-140 g ( i.e. 0.18-0.30 Ibs.) at birth.
RECOMMENDED READING: How Much Does a Giant Panda Weigh?
Do Male Pandas Give Birth?
No, male pandas do not give birth.
When it comes to giving birth, the female pandas are the ones who give birth to young panda cubs. They give birth during late summer between August and September.
The panda’s mating period kicks off in spring, usually between March and May. Interestingly, female pandas tend to conceive once in 12 months for just 24-72 hours.
The male pandas all compete for the female panda’s attention once the mating period sets in. They perform lots of activities like seducing and chasing the female pandas.
On the other hand, female pandas are not usually in a hurry to select a mating partner. However, once they are ready to mate, the breeding period starts and a panda cub is conceived.
In summary, all pandas are not born female. They are born either male or female.
However, the gender of a panda is not known immediately at birth. It takes a few weeks before it becomes obvious.
Also, male pandas do not give birth.
During the mating season, the male pandas all compete for the female panda’s attention. They could go as far as trying to seduce her to agree to mate with them.
It is somewhat difficult for a new male panda to compete with the old male pandas. This is because some of the male pandas are already sexually active with the female pandas.
Finally, a female panda chooses a mating partner and breeding sets in.
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