Why are pandas so chilled? The clue is in the bamboo

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


It has long been a mystery how giant pandas, which have a gut ideal for digesting meat, can survive eating almost exclusively bamboo. Now our research has found that they can cope with this low-quality diet because they have an extremely slow metabolic rate. This may also explain why they are so inactive and have comparatively small organs for their body size.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

John Speakman receives funding from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Science Foundation of China, the US National Institute of Health and the UK BBSRC


  • Animal behaviour
  • giant panda
  • pandas
  • Bamboo


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