In this book, the author gathered together all the latest evidence and progress in the scientific studies of panda's past, present and future, especially how he has introduced advanced scientific techniques such as population genomics, metagenomics and evolutionary genomics into the study of wild pandas. These scientific stories systematically unveiled the evolutionary history, adaptive strategy, cause of endangerment, and evolutionary potential of the giant panda under environmental changes and anthropogenic pressure, highlighting its evolution in every aspect of its body and behaviour to adapt to the transition to a specialized bamboo diet. With illustrative examples and plentiful photographs taken in the wild, the secret life of pandas and the science behind are sure to satisfy the reader's curiosity. Among the other things, this book gives answers to the frequently asked questions of whether the panda is an "evolutionary cul-de-sac" and whether there remains hope for them to survive and enjoy a brighter future.
The giant panda is a well-known flagship species in the field of conservation science for its unique appeal and specialized characteristics. Besides, it is also an ideal model for researchers to understand adaptive evolution. Over the past thirty years, the author and leading conservation scientist Dr. Fuwen Wei, has been focusing on the research and conservation of wild pandas in China.
Prof. Fuwen Wei is engaged in conservation biology research of endangered animals at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and concurrently serves as Deputy Director of the Endangered Species Scientific Commission, P. R. China. Since 1984, he has been conducting scientific research on the conservation biology of wild giant pandas in Qinling, Qionglai, Minshan, Liangshan and Xiangling mountains. By applying frontier technologies and methodologies, his team has unveiled many scientific mysteries of giant pandas.