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  1. #16
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    Continued from previous post

    Gene Ching
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  2. #17
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    adorable domination

    Pandas Are Adorable! (Also a Tool for Chinese Geopolitical Domination)
    Beijing, which has a monopoly on breeding the rare bears, strategically lends them abroad as a soft-power tool to promote warm feelings for the Middle Kingdom—and sometimes dangles them to gain leverage; ‘I think they just played us’

    Three-year-old panda Bao Bao was flown to China from the Washington National Zoo, leaving behind her parents and brother. Although Bao Bao was born in D.C., she has technically been on loan from China. Photo: Associated Press

    By KATE O’KEEFFE
    Updated March 24, 2017 11:04 a.m. ET

    China produces roughly 25% of the world’s vehicles, half its steel and 75% of its smartphones.

    It controls 100% of the world’s panda production, though, and therein lies the key to panda diplomacy, the soft-power tool Beijing mercilessly uses for global influence.


    Bao Bao

    China strategically dispatches the bears to zoos around the world through loan agreements that guard its panda monopoly. The black-and-white diplomats, who nap and snack on the job, promote warm feelings about China even when leaders’ rhetoric is cold.

    They are critical “especially for ordinary people, not politicians or diplomats, to understand that people with different systems can still work together on lots of things,” says Liu Yuqing, a Chinese-embassy press officer in Washington.

    Officials from New York to New Zealand have proven susceptible to this weaponized adorability, cozying up to Beijing in hopes of drawing from its arsenal of giant pandas—2,239 of them, as of China’s latest census.


    Visitors flock to watch Bao Bao at the Smithsonian National Zoo. PHOTO: SARAH L. VOISIN/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES

    Last month, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) presented China’s New York consul general as an honored guest at the inaugural “Panda Ball” at the Chinese-owned Waldorf Astoria hotel. Black-and-white-clad partygoers raised nearly $500,000 toward trying to acquire a bear pair for New York City, which the sponsor, The Pandas Are Coming To NYC, billed as an important symbol of Sino-American friendship.

    Guests broke open red fortune cookies that predicted a “panda tastic” life. In a pièce de panda résistance, the sponsors brought out Ed Cox, Richard Nixon’s son-in-law, to laud the late president’s role in China’s epic 1972 deployment of pandas Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing to the National Zoo.

    The nonprofit group says it still needs to raise tens of millions and to win a contract from China to get bears by its 2020 goal. “A pair of Giant pandas would be great for New York’s economy,” says Rep. Maloney.


    Panda Le Bao plays with his ice birthday cake at his home in South Korea. PHOTO: JUNG YEON-JE//AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

    The Netherlands’ Ouwehands Zoo waited nearly two decades for pandas, working Dutch and Chinese government contacts, says director Robin de Lange. The Dutch had high hopes in 2012, upon the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Dutch diplomatic relations, he says, and in 2013 with the Dutch Queen’s abdication in favor of her son.

    “We thought ‘This is a perfect moment,’ but nothing happened,” he says. Finally in 2015, the zoo signed a contract in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People in the presence of President Xi Jinping and King Willem-Alexander. The pandas are set to arrive next month.

    Panda diplomacy dates to the Tang dynasty, when Empress Wu Zetian (624-705 A.D.) gave pandas to the Japanese emperor, and it later became a Cold War-era strategy. Beijing gave a panda to the Soviet Union in 1957 and another in 1959. It gave Washington pandas after President Nixon’s trip to China ended decades of estrangement.


    The National Zoo's Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, here in 1974, were Beijing’s gifts to the U.S. in 1972 after President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China. PHOTO: CHARLES TASNADI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Giant pandas live in the wild only in China. “The panda represents a fascinating soft-power resource,” wrote University of Oxford researchers in a 2013 panda-diplomacy study. “Its presence in non-Chinese zoos involves others in the appreciation and care of a Chinese national treasure.”

    In the 1980s, China stopped giving pandas, lending them instead, according to zoos and Chinese state media. Pandas are posted in strategically important countries across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

    In exchange, zoos work with Chinese scientists on panda research and typically pay China $500,000 to $1 million a year to help with conservation, zoos and state-media reports say, and bears born abroad are generally shipped back to the motherland by age 4 for breeding.

    The Smithsonian National Zoo recently gave up its Washington-born 3-year-old Bao Bao. The Chinese embassy’s minister for commercial affairs escorted her to a private jet last month after an extensive series of farewell parties.

    “We have this ambassador, the panda ambassador, which really comes in very handy,” says the embassy’s Ms. Liu. “When there’s a very cute and friendly and lovely ambassador such as the panda, it is definitely easier for us to promote the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.”

    Some in Omaha, Neb., suspected other motives. The city’s zoo spent nearly nine years fundraising for a chance at a pair after a Chinese diplomat dangled the prospect, says Omaha Zoo Foundation Chairman Lee Simmons.

    “As a practical businessman, these numbers will scare the hell out of you,” says Mr. Simmons, who says he cut the quest short in 2007 after the Chinese embassy called requesting help scuttling a trade deal between Nebraska and Taiwan. “They never had any intention of ever sending pandas to Omaha,” he says. “I think they just played us.”

    Mr. Simmons’ account of Omaha’s panda pursuit was reported by the Omaha World-Herald in October. “I have never heard anything about it,” the Chinese embassy’s Ms. Liu says of the episode.

    In 2006, a year after China had offered Taiwan pandas, then-leader Chen Shui-bian, not a friend to Beijing, declined, according to press reports. Two years later, pro-China leader Ma Ying-jeou assumed the Taiwan presidency and welcomed the bears—which Beijing gave as a gift instead of a loan because it views the self-governing island as part of China. Their names, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, combined mean “reunion,” a reference to Beijing’s goal of reuniting with Taiwan.


    A panda cub at the Taipei Zoo, born to a bear pair the Chinese mainland gave as a goodwill gift to Taiwan. PHOTO: XINHUA/ZUMA PRESS

    New Zealand had its own pandamonium after Defense Minister Gerry Brownlee attempted what media there branded “a black ops panda mission” in China. While meeting with the People’s Liberation Army in 2015, the media reported, he visited a panda-breeding center and delivered a letter from Wellington’s then-mayor Celia Wade-Brown in which she sought to procure a pair. Some lawmakers publicly accused Mr. Brownlee of misplaced priorities and one in a press release labeled him a “panda pimp.”

    Then-Prime Minister John Key, who had earlier proposed giving China two kiwi birds in exchange for pandas, told reporters he didn’t know anything about the letter. The three New Zealand officials declined to comment. New Zealand remains panda-less.

    Some panda fans worry President Donald Trump’s anti-China trade rhetoric could spoil the program. Tara Cain, who attended one of the National Zoo’s “Bye Bye Bao Bao” events, says she believes the bears will keep helping U.S.-China relations, but worries: “If certain political trajectories stay in play, that could become an issue.”

    The Chinese embassy’s Ms. Liu says the program will continue no matter what happens in the administration. “This is only one chapter,” she says.


    Giant Panda cubs with their mother at Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo in February. PHOTO: SCHOENBRUNN ZOO/REUTERS

    Write to Kate O’Keeffe at kathryn.okeeffe@wsj.com

    Appeared in the Mar. 25, 2017, print edition as 'A Panda’s Two Jobs: Be Adorable, Promote Chinese Foreign Policy.'
    A few years ago, I made it to the San Diego Zoo to see the pandas there. It was so worth it.
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  3. #18
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    Panda Scout Trying to Sneak Out For Party! | iPanda

    Gene Ching
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  4. #19
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    shocker!

    Pandas not made in China? Well, they've got them all now.

    Do giant panda actually came from EUROPE? Ten million year old teeth fossils found in Hungary suggest the bear might not originate in China
    Researchers discovered remains of ancient pandas in town of Rudabánya
    The team compared the shape and structure and wear patterns of found teeth
    Experts know very little about the evolution of the giant panda and its origin
    It's commonly believed that the black-and-white bears have only lived in China
    By CLAIRE HEFFRON and TRACY YOU FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 05:51 EDT, 1 November 2017 | UPDATED: 06:36 EDT, 1 November 2017

    Researchers have discovered the teeth of an ancient animal that resembles a modern-day giant panda during excavations in Europe.

    Professor David Begun, from the University of Toronto, discovered the 10-million-year-old fossilised remains while out hunting for bones at a site in north Hungary.

    This discovery has allowed experts to doubt the theory of giant panda's origin as it's commonly assumed that the black-and-white bears have only lived in China.


    Where are you from? It's commonly believed that giant panda originated in the mountainous regions in China, but researchers have found evidence that could suggest otherwise


    Is this the proof? Professor David Begun from the University of Toronto discovered the 10-million-year-old fossil teeth (pictured) during excavations in north Hungary


    Prof. Begun believed the teeth might have belonged to a panda based on their shape


    The remains were found by Prof. Begun and his team in the Hungarian town of Rudabánya, which is famously known for having remains of ancient ancestors from apes and humans

    Prof. Begun found the fossilised remains in the Hungarian town of Rudabánya, which is famously known for having remains of ancient ancestors from apes and humans.

    He believed the mysterious teeth might have belonged to a panda based on their shape.

    Prof. Begun and his team came to the conclusion that the ancient panda had the same diet as today's giant panda.


    Vegetarian lifestyle: The giant pandas root's could be from another continent (file photo)


    The giant panda is thought to come from mountainous western China, mainly Sichuan

    Louis de Bonis from the University of Poitiers in France told New Scientist. 'This tells us that the way of life of the panda's ancestors was very similar to the modern panda.'

    Begun and his team named the species Miomaci panonnicum.

    'Miomaci could be considered not like a direct ancestor, but more like a "cousin" of the modern panda'.

    The wild giant panda is currently only found in forested mountain ranges in south-west and north-west China.

    The new finding shows relatives of pandas were eating plant-based diets millions of years before pandas evolved to specifically eat bamboo.


    Experts came to the conclusion that ancient panda had the same diet as today's giant panda


    Experts know very little about the evolution of the giant panda and its origin

    It was previously assumed that bears of the panda family have been confined to China ever since they split from other bear species.

    However, the revelation shows pandas were located in central Europe 10 million years ago.

    Dave Begun told New Scientist: 'There are interesting similarities between animal fossils found in some European and Chinese sites in the late Miocene period, suggesting that there may have been a lot of traveling between the two areas.'

    It's still unclear whether the pandas went from Europe to Asia or vice versa.

    However, at the time of this ancient panda, Europe was wetter and warmer than today, likely having lush subtropical forests where the bears would have flourished.


    Ancient remains found in Spain: Two fossils were unearthed in Zaragoza in 2012 and were thought to have belonged to a species (above) that could be the ancestor of the giant panda


    Discovery: Teeth dating back 11.6 million years old were found at a site near Zaragoza, Spain

    Nobody really knows how the giant panda evolved, with the oldest remains unearthed in China approximately eight million years old.

    Few fossils of its relatives have been found, so its lineage is almost as hotly debated as that of humans.

    In 2012, a few fossilised teeth dating back 11.6 million years old were found at a paleontological site near Zaragoza, Spain.

    The researchers discovered the fossils had the characteristics of a bear which adapted to eating tough plant material like bamboo.
    continued next post
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  5. #20
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    Continued from previous post

    QIZAI: A RARE BROWN PANDA
    Qizai is thought to be the only living panda in the world who has a rare coat of white and brown.

    The seven-year-old male panda lives in the Foping Panda Valley in Shaanxi province, north-west China.

    Qizai was found as a two-month-old cub, weak and alone, by researchers in a nature reserve in Qinling Mountains in central China after his mother had apparently disappeared into the jungle.


    Too cute to bear: Qizai, from China's Shaanxi Province, has proved that when it comes to a panda, it's not always a case of black and white

    For his own safety, the researchers took him to the nearby Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue, Breeding and

    Research Centre where he was given medical treatment and fed on panda milk saved by the centre's staff from other pandas.

    He Xin, Qizai’s keeper, said the pandas from Shaanxi have different appearance to those from south-west China's Sichuan province, where the giant pandas are thought to originate.

    'The pandas in Shaanxi have lighter fur colour than the Sichuan pandas,' said Mr He.

    'Some of them have dark brown fur around the stomach,' he added. 'But Qizai is the most brown panda of them all.'

    7-year-old Qizai is thought to be the world's only brown panda

    Katherine Feng, an American vet and member of the International League of Conservation Photographers, had the opportunities to take photos of Qizai in 2015.

    Ms Feng said: 'Brown and white pandas have only been seen in the Qinling Mountains. The Qinling Mountain pandas are considered a different sub-species from those found in other mountain ranges.

    'It is suspected that the brown and white colouring of pandas has a genetic basis, possible a result of a double recessive gene, a combination of genes or a dilution factor gene. Qi Zai's mother was black and white.'

    There have only been five sightings of brown-and-white pandas since 1985.
    Had to squeeze this sidebar in too, because...PANDAS!
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  6. #21
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    Panda POO!

    PANDA POOP IS BEING TURNED INTO FACIAL TISSUES AND TOILET PAPER
    BY CHRISTINA ZHAO ON 12/20/17 AT 6:18 AM

    A new type of luxury facial tissue made with recycled Panda feces is set to be launched in China.

    The bizarre product, called “Panda poo,” will retail at for $6.54 a box, ten times the price of ordinary tissue paper.

    Sichuan Jianwei County Fengsheng Paper Company struck a deal with giant panda reserves in southwest China on Monday, which allows them to collect and recycle the feces and food debris from the center’s three bases in Dujiangyan, Wolong and Bifengxia, local media reported.


    Napkins made by panda feces and food debris is seen in Chengdu in China's southwestern Sichuan province on December 20, 2017.
    GETTY

    As part of the deal, the company will collect the raw materials every three to seven days, combine the excrement and food waste and produce retail tissue paper.

    Huang Yan, a researcher at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP), told the Chengdu Business Daily that each animal passes more than 22 pounds of excrement per day and taking care of it is “rather time-consuming."

    Pandas also produce about 110 pounds of food waste each day, as the bears often spit out large amounts of bamboo after chewing.

    "They're taking care of our rubbish for us," Huang Yan, a researcher at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP), told the newspaper. "Turning [feces] into tissue offers a perfect solution for us to deal with [the] waste.”

    In addition to luxury facial tissues, the company will also produce other paper products, such as toilet paper, handkerchiefs and napkins.

    "[Excrement] will not be used to make paper for writing," Zhou Chuanping, the company’s deputy general manager, said. "[So] to ensure safety, the paper will undergo bacteria testing before it enters the market."

    Addressing concerns of skeptics who may find it unhygenic to wipe their faces with feces, Zhou said that there are many processes in place to ensure the product is ready for consumption. After washing and streaming, the paper will be sterilized in high temperatures. Meanwhile, the high cost of production justifies the expensive price of the tissue, he argued.

    “We have achieved a win-win situation with the pandas,” Yang Chaolin, the company’s chairman, said.

    People's Daily,China ‏Verified account
    @PDChina
    Follow Follow @PDChina
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    Are you a true #panda fan? Tissue paper made from “panda poo” is now available in #China. This special product uses real panda poop and food waste from three panda bases in Sichuan. But don’t worry, they like to eat bamboo and the waste consists mainly of bamboo fibers. 🐼💩


    7:39 PM - 18 Dec 2017
    I actually had some Panda poop products. I got a notebook at the San Diego Zoo made from Panda poop. It was a rather course paper, and not really strong enough to carry daily in my pocket, but part of the expense went to the pandas, so that's cool.
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  7. #22
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    Pandas - official teaser [hd]

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  8. #23
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    New giant panda national park

    03.14.186:00 AM WORLD CHANGING IDEAS
    China’s New Panda Park Will Be The Size Of Massachusetts
    The new park will connect 67 separate reserves, in the hopes of increasing the world’s panda population after it’s come back from the brink.


    [Photo: Hung_Chung_Chih/iStock]

    BY ADELE PETERS 3 MINUTE READ

    When giant pandas moved off the endangered species list in 2016–from “endangered” to “vulnerable“–it was because China helped protect some of the animal’s habitat and panda numbers rose. Now the government is working on a bigger step: a massive new giant panda national park that will be roughly the same size as Massachusetts, or three times larger than Yosemite.

    The park, which is scheduled to open in 2020, will sprawl across 10,476 square miles in the western provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu, linking up dozens of smaller protected areas. Right now, pandas live in 30 isolated areas; roads and other new development over the last couple of decades have cut off former swaths of continuous habitat.

    By connecting 67 reserves, the new park will make it more likely that the species can survive. Pandas don’t breed often–each female is only fertile for a day or a day and a half each year, and might give birth once every two years–and as populations have become more fragmented, the chances of inbreeding have risen. In some patches of habitat, there may be as few as 10 bears.


    [Photo: Flickr user Paolo Trabattoni]

    Climate change is also shifting where bamboo can grow, and pandas, which can eat as much as 40 pounds of bamboo in a day (and eat little else), will need to be able to move with their food. Over the next 80 years, more than a third of panda habitat may become too hot for bamboo to grow. The plans for the park are “setting up a network of places where they can eat,” says Robert Tansey, a senior advisor on China for The Nature Conservancy. “The Chinese are thinking specifically about where they can have passageways or tunnels so the pandas can take advantage not only of specific areas, but are able to traverse and get to other set-off or protected areas.”

    The park is unusual both in terms of its scale and complexity. There are 170,000 people currently living within the boundaries of the new park. Some may have to relocate, particularly in one county where population density is highest (China’s authoritarian government has little issue relocating people who are in the way of major projects). In other cases, people may have to adapt to live under new restrictions that protect habitat. The government plans to allocate some of the park’s budget to help build an ecotourism industry with new jobs for people living in the area.

    In 2017, The Nature Conservancy took a team of Chinese planners to visit parks in California, including Yosemite, to help as they planned the new park. At a wildlife refuge near Sacramento, they saw how different parcels of land were connected with pathways for wildlife, and how those outside the park also helped–rice farmers in the area, for example, now leave out vegetation longer than they would have otherwise to support migrating birds.


    [Photo: shutrbugg/iStock]

    “You can’t just shut off a species or an ecosystem, you’ve got multiple uses and users,” says Tansey. “You need to find ways for people and organizations to work together so you have what you want with shared benefits down the road.” Some protected areas already navigate between even denser urban development and nature; in the Santa Monica Mountains, for example, where mountain lions live next to Los Angeles neighborhoods, a bridge may be built to help the animals cross an eight-lane freeway.

    For China, the giant panda park is one of several new national parks, and it’s also coming after 20 years of discussions about wildlife corridors between disconnected panda habitat. Xi Jinping, China’s president, has championed the idea of a national park system. Without the panda park, the area would “almost surely” be developed, Tansey says. He compares it to what might have happened without a national park system in the United States.

    “If you had not set aside wildlife refuges, national parks, other forms of protected areas that are designated and managed by the government, I think it would be reasonable to say that those places would have been developed–that you would have a five-star hotel where you woke up and looked out at Old Faithful 100 meters away, or something,” he says. “That’s the nature of the profit motive.”

    The panda park will help bring protection for thousands of other, sometimes less charismatic species, like the takin, an animal that looks a little like a combination of a moose, bear, and goat. For pandas, it may help populations grow. There were once perhaps 100,000 pandas in Asia. Now the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the organization that produces the endangered species list, believes there are 1,864 pandas. By 2025, China hopes to nudge that up to 2,000.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.
    So awesome
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  9. #24
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    Today is INTERNATIONAL PANDA DAY!

    At least, that's what IMAX told me when it sent me this promo vid.

    Gene Ching
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    More on the reserve

    KEN FOXE
    Lonely Planet Writer
    3 HOURS AGO
    China boosts future of giant panda with plans for enormous reserve

    The future of one of nature’s most iconic animals – the giant panda – has received a major boost with the announcement of an enormous new preserve.


    Cute panda eating bamboo in Chengdu , Sichuan. Image by Getty Images

    The conservation park will be two million hectares in size, the size of the entire European nation of Slovenia (or double the area of the famous Yellowstone National Park in the US). A huge portion of the funding is coming from the Bank of China, which has committed ten billion yuan for the project – equivalent to US$1.5 billion. The park is expected to be completed over the next five years and will provide a major conservation boost for the giant panda and an economic fillip for the province of Sichuan.


    Giant panda cub resting on tree in Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center in Chengdu. Image by Getty Images

    The sheer scale of it will not only help the endangered animals but also allow them a wider range for meeting mates, in the hope of deepening the genetic pool of the species. It will link 67 separate reserves into one giant conservation zone using passageways and tunnels to link habitats that are currently cut off from one another. The project is bound to be complex with 170,000 people living within the new conservation area but China is hopeful it can develop ecotourism around the preserve.


    Couple of pandas eating bamboo. Image by Shutterstock

    Giant pandas are immediately associated with China around the world. Estimates for the population in the wild range from 1500 to 3000 with the most recent large-scale study putting their number at 1864. More than 300 more live in zoos and wildlife parks around the world. Most of the wild panda bears live in the mountains of Sichuan with smaller populations in the neighbouring provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi. Unlike most bears, pandas are almost entirely herbivore and 99% of their diet is made up of bamboo shoots, of which they can eat at least 20lbs a day.
    BTW, I watched that Born in China Disney Nature doc. It was terrible. John Krazinski has such a tepid voice that it sucked the life out of the narration. And the footage was mediocre at best, especially compared to the stunning BBC Planet Earth series (part II just came on netflix, which is also where I watched this). There's some amusing BTS footage during the credits. That was the best part. I would've rather just watch that because the story lines they assembled for the narrative were not very engaging.
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  11. #26
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    22,000-year-old fossilized panda skull

    Extinct Giant Panda Lineage Discovered Thanks to DNA From 22,000-Year-Old Skull
    Jessica Boddy
    Yesterday 11:00am


    This panda fossil came from Cizhutuo Cave in the Guangxi Province of China.
    Photo: Yingqi Zhang and Yong Xu

    DNA from a 22,000-year-old fossilized panda skull suggests an entirely separate lineage of giant pandas once roamed the area that is now southern China.

    A cave explorer found the skull in Guangxi, a Chinese province that borders Vietnam. No giant pandas live there today—the giant panda population, which numbers fewer than 2,500, is confined to three provinces in central China. Research suggests the bears occupied large swaths of China in the past, but without DNA analysis, researchers haven’t been able to map out the entire giant panda family tree. This new work suggests some previously unknown branches.

    “Giant pandas are one of eight bear species that exist today, and they’re really distinct from other bears,” Charlotte Lindqvist told Gizmodo. Lindqvist is an evolutionary biologist who specializes in bear genomics, but wasn’t involved in this new research. “It’s interesting to get to know more about their ancient distribution and where they are in the history of bears.”

    After sequencing DNA that was lodged in the skull and comparing it to the genomes of modern-day giant pandas and 32 other ancient bears, the researchers found this bear from Guangxi shared a common ancestor with today’s giant pandas around 183,000 years ago. As the team outlined in their paper published today in Current Biology, this likely makes the newly discovered bears more of a parallel lineage rather than precursors to the giant pandas living in China now. And though the researchers couldn’t guess what the bear would have looked like, they know it was a plant-eater by analyzing carbon and nitrogen isotopes present in the fossil.


    More genetic analysis could one day reveal whether the Guangxi pandas were as cute as modern ones.
    Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Staff (Getty)

    In their analysis, the researchers were able to pull genetic information from the fossil by targeting the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) instead of the nuclear DNA. mtDNA is easier to grab because there are usually around 1,000 copies of it in a given cell; for nuclear DNA, just a pair exists.

    However, mtDNA only tells half of the genetic story. Because it’s passed down maternally, it only gives insight into one side of the lineage. Nuclear DNA is much more informative because it contains information from both the mother’s and father’s side.

    But extracting that nuclear DNA from an ancient fossil can be difficult because much of the DNA degrades over time, especially in hot, humid locales like this one—it was hard enough to get the mitochondrial DNA, said study author Qiaomei Fu.

    “It’s a big responsibility to get genome-wide data,” Fu, a paleogeneticist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Gizmodo. “We can get an understanding not only related to the present day giant panda, but also find out what happened to them in the past.”

    Getting that nuclear genome of the southern giant pandas is Fu’s next goal, whether it be from this Guangxi skull or from another fossil in the same area and time period. That data would help researchers get a more complete picture of where this lineage sits in the evolutionary branches of the giant panda. “We’ll try this fossil along with others,” she said, noting that a similar feat has already been accomplished with Neanderthal DNA. First, researchers isolated the mitochondrial DNA, and later, the nuclear. “We won’t give up.”
    I wonder what color they were back then.
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  12. #27
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    I'm in China

    New TV show puts foreigners in unique jobs in China
    chinadaily.com.cn, July 5, 2018


    [Photo provided to China Daily]

    Nearly 500 expats from across the globe, including those working and studying in China, have applied to participate in a reality television show to experience unique jobs with Chinese characteristics for one day.

    The jobs include taking care of pandas in the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province, becoming a kung fu apprentice at Shaolin Temple in Henan province, taking on the role of a high-speed train maintenance worker in Wuhan, Hubei province, and learning how to be chef of hand-pulled noodles in Lanzhou, Gansu province.

    Only one applicant will be selected for each of the eight jobs, according to the team from "I'm in China", a State-supported media project that aims to share the culture and history of China.

    Applicants with relevant work experience and are fluent in Mandarin are preferred, according to the team.

    Details regarding the application were released on professional networking website LinkedIn on June 20. So far, the job at the panda base in Sichuan province has garnered the strongest response.

    "We believe LinkedIn will help the TV show organizer find the best candidates, who will in turn work as ambassadors by sharing their real experiences of Chinese culture with the world," said Huang Lei, marketing and public relations director at LinkedIn China.
    Here's the LinkedIn I'm in China page.

    All of these jobs look pretty cool.

    THREADS:
    Apprentices
    Pandas!
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
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    So wrong

    PANDA PELTED WITH STONES BY TOURISTS WHO TRY TO WAKE IT UP FROM A NAP AT CHINA ZOO
    BY BRENDAN COLE ON 7/23/18 AT 12:09 PM

    Four tourists have been blacklisted from a Chinese nature reserve after they threw stones at a panda to try to get it to move.

    The panda had been motionless under a tree where it had been resting in its enclosure at the Foping National Nature Reserve in Hanzhong, Shaanxi province, in the north-east of the country.

    A group of around 20 people gathered and started shouting at the animal and when it did not move, one man started throwing stones. Footage posted on social media shows a man throwing the objects, the South China Morning Post reported.


    This photo shows a panda at the Shenshuping Base of the China Conservation and Research Centre in Wenchuan in China's southwestern Sichuan province. Footage has emerged of tourists throwing stones at a panda in Hanzhong, in the north-east of the country.
    GETTY IMAGES

    The reserve’s marketing manager, Yan Xihai, said in fact there were several people throwing stones and reserve staff were forced to stop them from disturbing the seven-year-old male.

    “This incident happened at a place where the pandas generally don’t come or hang around, so we don’t have any surveillance cameras installed in the area,” Yan said, according to the Post.

    One visitor recorded footage that showed the tourists shouting at the bear to get its attention and to make it move.

    Park manager, Zhen Xihai, said: “We will improve our management of the panda park and also fine the tourists and tourism agency involved.

    “Should the tourism agency be found guilty of similar uncivilized behavior again, it and all its guides will be blacklisted and banned from the park too,” Unilad.co.uk reported.

    The panda sanctuary is set over 22 acres and is home to nine-year-old Qizai, believed to be the only living panda in the world that has a rare coat of white and brown. He was discovered by researchers aged two months in a nature reserve in the Qinling Mountains after his mother had disappeared.

    Pandas hold a special status in China. The country's government has made considerable efforts to conserve the species. They are no longer endangered and there are estimated to be around 2,000 giant pandas in the world.

    On her final days in China, the media widely reported how first Lady melania Trump toured the Beijing Zoo and befriended a 240-pound panda named Gu Gu.
    Why is melania in lower case?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #29
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    Jan 1970
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    success

    well this is good news.

    Giant panda conservation success of China and world’s zoos celebrated in Beijing exhibition
    World’s fascination with giant pandas goes back to French missionary Père David’s first account of them in 1869, and multimedia show in Beijing charts the measures taken since to conserve the iconic animals and their habitat
    PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 August, 2018, 1:49pm
    UPDATED : Saturday, 25 August, 2018, 1:49pm
    Elaine Yau
    https://www.facebook.com/elaine.yau.3152
    https://www.scmp.com/elaineyau200608



    An exhibition celebrating the origins and success of China’s giant panda conservation programme opened this week in Beijing.

    Film screenings, artwork and photographs are featured in the first exhibition devoted to what its organisers call “panda culture”.

    It traces the giant panda’s journey into Western consciousness, recalling how French priest and zoologist Armand David, known as Père David, was the first foreigner to bring them to the attention of the West. The French missionary described the body of a white bear with black legs and ears in his journal in 1869 while stationed at the Dengchi Valley Cathedral in Yaan, a city in Sichuan province.


    Launching the exhibition, Yang Chao, director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, said the threat to giant panda populations had been reduced through conservation work.

    Panda lanterns on display at the China Giant Panda International Culture Week Exhibition. Lanterns will be a common sight next month as China marks the Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo: Elaine Yau

    “Their number rose from 1,114 in the 1980s to 1,864 [now],” he says. “After decades of efforts, China’s captive panda breeding programme has overcome the obstacles of [female] pandas being seldom in heat, pandas’ difficult breeding and insemination and the low survival rate of cubs.”

    The first captive baby panda was born in Beijing Zoo in 1963. At the end of last year, there were 518 captive giant pandas in China. Xiang Xiang was the world’s first captive panda released into the wild in 2006.

    Chao said nine of the captive pandas have so far been released into the wild, and seven were still living.

    In addition to the captive pandas in China, more than 100 giant pandas live in zoos around the world. Attending the launch ceremony for the exhibition, Austrian ambassador to China Friedrich Stift said Vienna’s Tiergarten Schönbrunn, the world’s oldest zoo, received two pandas named Yang Yang and Long Hui from China in 2003 for joint research.


    A display at the China Giant Panda International Culture Week Exhibition shows Beijing Zoo staff in 1963 with the first captive-born panda. Photo: Elaine Yau

    Yang Yang gave birth to a cub in 2007, the first panda conceived naturally in Europe, he said.

    “In 2010 another young panda was born, followed by another baby in 2013. A highlight was the birth of twin babies in 2016. Yang Yang succeeded to raise the twins without any human assistance, which is unique around the world,” Stift said.

    “Of the five pandas born in Vienna, three have already been returned to China. The twins, Fu Feng and Fu Ban, will be brought to China in November. It is part of the contract that after two years of their birth, the pandas have to be given back to their homeland in China.”


    Xiang Xiang was the first captive giant panda released into the wild, in 2006. Photo: courtesy of the China Giant Panda International Culture Week Exhibition

    Stift said that since the death of male panda Long Hui in 2016 from cancer of the gall bladder, Austria had been working to get a new male panda so more pandas can be born and raised at the zoo.

    “Pandas are the most popular attraction at the zoo where more than two million visitors come every year to see them,” the ambassador said.

    Chao said the number of nature conservation sanctuaries for pandas in China had risen from 15 in the 1980s to 67 now, but lamented a lack of co-ordination between some of them.

    “China is building a giant panda national park to [better] adjust the animals’ distribution to attain their stable propagation,” Chao said. “The habitats of giant pandas also contain over 8,000 species of wild flora and fauna, including the golden snub-nosed monkey. So the construction of the park will not only help preserve giant pandas, but also boost the biodiversity of the whole region.”


    Yang Chao, director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration. Photo: Elaine Yau

    Co-organised by the State Council Information Office, the State Forestry and Grassland Administration, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the provincial governments of Sichuan, Shanxi and Gansu, the China Giant Panda International Culture Week Exhibition runs until August 26 at the China Millennium Monument in Beijing.

    An accompanying photography exhibition is being held at Zhangwang Hutong in Old Gulou Street, where 25 photos are displayed to show the pristine environment of Sichuan, the artificial insemination of pandas and programmes to release captive pandas into the wild.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #30
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    Yang Yang - Panda painter

    Fur-Sale! Painting panda's abstract artwork hits the market
    By TIFFANY HAGLER-GEARD Aug 27, 2018, 1:10 PM ET


    PHOTO: Giant Panda Yang Yang uses finger paint and a brush to create a picture at Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, Aug. 10, 2018. Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

    There's a painting panda at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo and her abstract artwork is selling for more than $500 a pop.

    Yang Yang uses black paint with white backgrounds, which seems to be a favorite color scheme for the zoo's giant panda.


    Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters
    Giant Panda Yang Yang holds a brush behind pictures it painted at Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, Aug. 10, 2018.

    With a zookeeper acting as her easel, the panda creates minimalist splotch art reminiscent of the American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock.


    Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters
    Giant Panda Yang Yang uses finger paint and a brush to create a picture at Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, Aug. 10, 2018.

    One hundred of her adorable pieces will be sold online for around $560 each to fund a picture book about the Vienna zoo's pandas.


    Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters
    Giant Panda Yang Yang uses finger paint and a brush to create a picture at Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, Aug. 10, 2018.
    Yang Yang, 18, has given birth to 5 pandas, with one set of twins over the years.


    Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters
    Giant Panda Yang Yang uses finger paint and a brush to create a picture at Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, Aug. 10, 2018.
    Oooh. I want one of these. A bit out of my price range though.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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