Male giant pandas' sex calls reveal size, females' age

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Melbourne, Sept 15 (ANI): Giant Pandas make bleat calls to attract potential mates, finds a new study.

The study led by Dr. Benjamin Charlton has shown that males reveal information about their size, while females give information about their age.

He says that bleats are just one type of call made by the distinctive black and white members of the bear family.

"Giant pandas (also) produce barks, moans, honks, growls, roars and squeals," ABC Science quoted Charlton, a postdoctoral research biologist at Zoo Atlanta, as saying.

"In addition, females produce chirps when they are approaching and entering oestrus, and some non-vocal sounds, such as the snort and chomp, which are sometimes heard," he added.

During the study, the researchers examined 14 adult giant pandas at a research centre in Chengdu, China, as well as four adult giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta, Memphis Zoo and the National Zoological Park.

While making acoustical analysis, they found that both males and females had distinctive masculine and feminine voices.

The male bleats revealed reliable information about body size, whether big and husky or small and puny.

However, females do not tell about body size. They instead they "tell" their age.

"It's not that females don't mind revealing their age," said Charlton.

"They don't have a choice. Information on female age is likely to be present in bleats due to age-related changes in vocal production anatomy," he added.

Charlton and colleagues Dr Zhang Zhihe and Dr Rebecca Snyder believe older females "are more likely to be experienced breeders," so males likely seek them out and "avoid pursuing those that are too young to breed." (ANI)

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