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Giant pandas are naturally solitary animals that struggle to get into the mood to make love.
However, scientists are one step closer to decoding their strange sexual interactions having found males bleat and females chirp when things are about to get frisky.
Panda - Heat - Year - Hours - Keepers
A female panda is only on heat once a year for about 48 hours, making it hard for keepers to arrange mating or artificial insemination.
Experts believe decoding these peculiar love songs could help this rare species get intimate more often.
Giant - Pandas - Name - Ailuropoda - Melanoleuca
Giant pandas, scientific name Ailuropoda Melanoleuca, are solitary animals that typically avoid contact with one another outside of mating season.
Zoo keepers find it incredibly difficult to get them to mate in captivity.
Communication - Male - Giant - Individuals - Mating
'Effective communication is, therefore, crucial for male and female giant pandas not only to locate opposite-sexed individuals for mating purposes, but also to overcome their natural avoidance and aggressive tendencies', researchers led by Dr Benjamin Charlton at San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research, California wrote in their paper.
Male giant pandas are known to bleat at high rates when they encounter females on heat, suggesting that these calls are important for coordinating mating activities.
Research - Royal - Society - Open - Science
According to their research, published in Royal Society Open Science, pandas use these strange noises to negotiate this delicate courtship process.
'The giant panda's most conspicuous vocalisation is a bleat that is thought to signal non-aggressive intent and promote contact between individuals', researchers wrote.
Giant - Pandas - Vocalisations - Chirps - Period
'Female giant pandas also produce high-pitched tonal vocalisations called chirps almost exclusively during their oestrus period'.
While chirping is...
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