Secret Language of Pandas Decoded

Researchers in China have decoded 13 different kinds of vocalisations of language of pandas. The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in neighbouring provinces, namely Shaanxi and Gansu.

The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in southwest China’s Sichuan Province has been working on a panda linguistics project since 2010.

They first made recordings of pandas at the breeding centre, cubs and adults, in various situations: when they were eating, mating, nursing, fighting and so on.

They also collected a large amount of data on pandas’ voices and activities, and analysed the voiceprints.

Scientists managed to decode some panda language and the results are quite interesting.

According to scietists Panda cubs speak to say things like “Gee-Gee” (I’m hungry), “Wow-Wow” (Not happy!) or “Coo-Coo” (Nice!).

The centre plans to continue the study and are looking forward to the invention of panda translator which may use high-tech voice recognition technology.

Fewer than 2,000 pandas live in the wild, mostly in the provinces of Sichuan and Shaanxi. There were 375 giant pandas in captivity at the end of 2013, about 200 of them at the CCRCGP.

For many decades, the precise taxonomic classification of the giant panda was under debate because it shares characteristics with both bears and raccoons. However, molecular studies suggest the giant panda is a true bear and part of the family Ursidae, though it differentiated early in history from the main ursine stock.