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Aug. 11, 2015

Quiz: Is This Panda Pregnant?

by Becky Fogel

Click to enlarge images
Figuring out whether or not a giant panda is pregnant is no easy task. Take Mei Xiang, a giant panda at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., for example. Researchers have thought she was pregnant five times before—between 2007 and 2012—but she never ended up giving birth. She was artificially inseminated on April 26 and 27 of this year, but zookeepers still aren't sure she's carrying.
 
It's very difficult to figure out whether or not a giant panda is pregnant before she actually gives birth, according to Pierre Comizzoli, a research biologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute who works with Mei Xiang. (Mei Xiang does have two living cubs, Tai Shan and Bao Bao.)
 
While he and others at the National Zoo wait to see if Mei Xiang is actually with cub—she should be due between the end of August and mid-September—Comizzoli shared some panda pregnancy facts with Science Friday.
 
Take our Panda Pregnancy Test, and see how much you know about panda pregnancies. Share your results with us on Twitter @scifri, or on Facebook. Then tune into Science Friday this week to learn more about the mystery and oddities of panda reproduction.
 

About Becky Fogel

Becky Fogel is SciFri's production assistant. Before joining SciFri, she was a reporter for KWBU-FM in Waco, Texas where she deepened her lifelong love of BBQ. Follow her @beckyfogel

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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